Cannon Air Force Base
Home of the 27th Special Operations Wing (27th SOW) and commanded by Col. Stephen Clark since May 28, 2009, Cannon Air Force Base is named after General John Kenneth Cannon, a World War II Mediterranean combat commander and former chief of U. S. Air Forces in Europe.
Cannon is located six miles west of Clovis 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.
Cannon has a rich history of different Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force missions. On October 1, 2007, a new chapter for Cannon began with the activation of the 27 SOW. The transition of Cannon AFB to the Air Force Special Operations Command mission offers training conditions similar to that in the Central Command and other theaters of operation, and will help the wing meet its objectives of global defense.
The Melrose Air Force Range and surrounding region open up new and unique training opportunities for the 27th Special Operations Wing. The wing’s mission includes infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces; air refueling of special operations rotary wing and tilt-rotor aircraft; precision fire and close air support; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
These capabilities support a variety of special operations missions including direct action, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, counter terrorism, personnel recovery, psychological operations and information operations.
The MC-130W Combat Spear, AC-130H Spectre gunship, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, CV-22 Osprey, and additional light and medium aircraft are currently assigned, or expected to be assigned to the wing at Cannon. Once the build out is complete, approximately 100 aircraft are expected to be stationed at Cannon.
As of October 1, 2009, the active-duty population at Cannon was 3,146. The final active-duty population at Cannon is expected to be between 4,400 and 5,600 Airmen. It will take approximately five years to complete the build-up of the new special operations wing at Cannon.
Clovis and Cannon have long enjoyed a strong and successful relationship. The communication channels between the base and the surrounding communities greatly contribute to the sustainment and strengthening of this mutually beneficial partnership.