The US Senate approved the 2006 defense appropriations bill, including an amendment designed to keep Cannon AFB, N.M., intact until the base gets a new mission. The Clovis News-Journal reports that Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) inserted a clause in the bill that prevents the Pentagon from withdrawing any assets from the eastern New Mexico base until the Secretary of Defense affirms to Congress that a new mission has been established. The base lost its F-16s under BRAC, but can stay open if it gets a new mission by 2009. According to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, there’s a high-level team in the hunt right now. (DR, 10/05/05).
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.