Officials from Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis will be in Tucumcari next week to meet with the community and talk about the base’s mission and training, and how local areas will be affected, according to a press release.
A June 16 night mission over Tucumcari, where a plane maintained a ciruclar
holding pattern over the city, concerned area residents and caused
state and local officials to prepare for an emergency.
Officials will meet at 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on July 8 at the Liberty Room of the Convention Center, 1500 W. Tucumcari Blvd.
Base officials will be holding forums in Tucumcari, Melrose and Santa Rosa, as well several Texas communities, the release said.
The forums will not only give the public an idea about the type of training missions Cannon will fly over their communities, but will also offer them an opportunity to ask questions, the release stated.
As new aircraft arrive at Cannon supporting the special operations mission, the public will notice additional aircraft traffic, particularly during the hours of darkness, according to the release.
The most recent addition to Cannon’s fleet of aircraft is the first two of eight AC-130H Spectre gunships that arrived here May 19, assigned to the 16th Special Operations Squadron.
According to 16th Special Operations Squadron commander Lt. Col. Sean Farrell, the nature of the gunship mission calls for much of the training to be conducted in urban areas.
“When we deploy, we will often be flying over cities and tracking targets within those cities under the cover of night,” Farrell said in the release. “So when we train at Cannon, it is imperative that some of our operations be done over cities at night as well.”
“Much of what we’ll be doing is adjusting our sensors as we conduct training operations,” said Farrell in the release. “That will require us to fly in circles over the city. The communities we’re flying over will hear us, but we will do our best to fly at altitudes that will limit the amount of noise. We want to be good neighbors, too.”
Current Cannon Airfield operating hours are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The AC-130H Spectre generally flies at night, the release said.