The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By David Grieder
Staff writer 

Air show approaches

Cannon’s annual free event is scheduled 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 26-27.


May 12, 2018

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — Clear your calendar and crane your necks, it’s almost air show time.

At the end of the month, Cannon Air Force Base will open its gates to the public for “Air Commandos on the High Plains: Air Show, Space & Tech Fest,” offering civilians an up-close experience with the special aircraft, teams and personnel that make up the 27th Special Operations Wing.

“I went to my first air show when I was half your size,” Special Operations Group Commander Col. Michael Jackson told a reporter Friday at a “media day” the base hosted in advance of the show.

He’s been to many since then, too.

Jackson, at Cannon since May 2017, told the assembled news crews about the ongoing growth of the base in the past 10 years and described its “symbiotic” relationship over time with the surrounding communities.

He said the show, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 26-27 with free admission, was partly “an opportunity for us to say thank you to Clovis, Portales and the regional communities we’re so thankful for.”

The base and its surrounding communities have “evolved together,” he said, comparing an estimated $209 million in economic impact from the base in 2008 to $711 million in 2017.

In that same time period almost $1.3 billion has been invested into the base, which has more than doubled from 2,500 personnel and kept a robust schedule of military construction projects.

There are now seven active projects and eight in design, compared to an annual average of one MilCom project per year at most other bases. Those projects have included renovation and elimination of old dormitories, construction of new hangars and housing units and, most recently, a newly opened medical and dental clinic.

Yet it will be other “amazing feats,” on display during the show, including a “fantastic lineup” of fighters, bombers and vintage airplanes, among many other attractions, Jackson said.

“An air show is a perfect platform to showcase Cannon’s unique mission within the Air Force Special Operations Command,” read a news release provided Friday. “There’ll be some amazing flying at show center featuring aircraft organic to Cannon (AFB), but in addition to that there will be several ground demonstrations highlighting our Special Tactics teams, Explosive Ordinance team, Medical Group, Survival teams, Maintenance and Weather teams.”

Also on the schedule: USAF Thunderbirds, Royal Canadian Air Force F-18 Demo jet and the SOC Para-Commando jump team, the release read.

Some of that AFSOC specific aircraft include the AC-130W Spectre Gunship, MC-130J Commando II, CV-22 Osprey and the MQ-9 Reaper, 27th SOW Commander Col. Stewart Hammons wrote of the event online.


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