Community should unite behind base

I thought your readers might be interested in these comments made Tuesday to Association of Defense Communities by Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary-Installations Kathleen Ferguson:

"(Department of Defense's) 2004 report to Congress stated the Air Force had 24 percent excess capacity and this number does not reflect current excess Air Force capacity.

"BRAC 2005 fell short of the Air Force goal by closing only seven minor installations.

"Today, seven years later and with 500 fewer aircraft, the Air Force presumes additional excess capacity exists and therefore supports DoD's request for two rounds of BRAC in 2013 and 2015."

I attended this meeting and was present when Ferguson made these points. The theme of the entire conference was preparing communities for defense cuts and the next round of BRAC.

Suggestions made to cities attending the conference were to continually work with your installation to establish lasting partnerships, address encroachment issues, improve quality of life, develop trusting relationships between the surrounding communities and the base, work with the installation to bring in more federal agencies, and take advantage of opportunities to provide support on a local, state, and congressional level.

Our community has a long history of supporting Cannon and the men, women and families stationed here. Many of our Cannon family have chosen to make this area their home after leaving the Air Force.

Now is the time for all of our citizens and especially our elected officials to show unified support to Cannon, the military, and our great country.

Lonnie Leslie

Local Growth Management Organization chairman

Clovis

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