With barely a week passed since winning a reprieve from the 2005 BRAC hit list, New Mexico officials are already pursuing a new mission for Cannon Air Force Base, near Clovis, N.M. The base will lose the 27th Fighter Wing and its F-16s but, per the BRAC commission, has until 2009 to come up with a new mission. Both Gov. Bill Richardson and the state’s Congressional representatives have started talking with DOD. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Richardson sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday, reiterating the state’s support for the Pentagon’s efforts and requested a visit to Cannon by acting Deputy Secretary Gordon England. Rumsfeld might not be so eager to send an emissary, since the Pentagon proposed closing Cannon outright.
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.