Air Force Bases

Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

Location: Located 5 miles West of Clovis, NM, about 190 miles ESE of Albuquerque, NM.

Origin of current name: Named in honor of Gen John Kenneth Cannon (1892-1955). General Cannon received his wings in 1922 and held a variety of command positions in World War II, including command of all air operations for the invasion of Southern Europe in August 1944 and Commander in Chief, Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean Theater. In 1950 he return to Europe as Commander in Chief of USAFE. General Cannon retired in 1954 as Commanding General, Tactical Air Command.

Date current name was assigned to base: June 8, 1957

Previous Names: Army Air Base, Clovis, September 25th, 1942; Clovis Army Airfield, April 8th 1943; Clovis Air Force Base, January 13th 1948.

Date Established: June 1, 1942

Date Occupied: December 24, 1942

Construction Began: September 3, 1942

Changes in Capability: Following activation, additional lands purchased between 1942 and 1978; construction of four major hangars began March 7th 1943; base used primarily for training heavy bombardment, weather, and weather reconnaissance personnel 1942-1945; processing center for personnel separating from service 1945-1946; base used by ANG 1951-1952; TAC fighter base 1953 to present; concrete areas for F-86Fs completed February 2nd 1953; air-to-ground gunnery range completed May 1953; new runway completed 1961; construction of 250 on-base family housing units 1965-1966 (other housing units completed in 1969 and 1974); JP-4 jet fuel pipeline from Amarillo, TX to Cannon AFB dedicated August 21st 1968; radar approach control facility completed April 15th 1974.

Changes in Status: Placed on reduced operational status, July 8th 1946; placed under administrative control of Colorado Springs (Stn), November 1st 1946-August 1st 1947; placed on temporarily inactive status, May 28th 1947; assigned as subpost of Roswell AAField (later, Walker AFB), NM, October 15th 1947-April 1st 1950; assigned as subpost of Reese AFB, TX, May 12th 1950-November 15th 1951; activated November 15th 1951.


General Information

Cannon Air Force Base, a major Air Combat Command installation, lies in the high plains of eastern New Mexico, near the Texas Panhandle. The base is eight miles west of Clovis, New Mexico, and is 4,295 feet above sea level.

The history of the base began in the late 1920s, when a civilian passenger facility, Portair Field, was established on the site. Portair, a terminal for early commercial transcontinental flights, flew passengers in the Ford Trimotor “Tin Goose” by day, and used Pullman trains for night travel. In the 1930s, Portair was renamed Clovis Municipal Airport.

Cannon Air Force Base is named in honor of the late Gen. John K. Cannon, former commander of the Tactical Air Command.

Three premier fighter squadrons make their home at Cannon: the 522nd, 523rd, and the 524th fighter squadrons.

Work Force

Currently, more than 4,000 active-duty members and civilians make up the work force at Cannon Air Force Base, approximately 270 officers, 3,201 enlisted airmen and 614 civilian employees. The primary aircraft assigned to Cannon is the F-16.

Community Impact

The total monetary impact on Clovis for fiscal year 2003 was estimated at $211.2 million. Military and civil service civilian payroll totaled $116.2 million, contracts and purchase orders (expenditures) totaled $53.7 million and non-civil service civilian annual wages totaled $41.4 million.

In addition, Cannon members volunteer thousands of hours each year to organizations in the surrounding communities, including mentoring and tutoring local school children, participating in city chamber activities, helping scouting groups, churches and veterans organizations, etc.

(Current as of January 2006)