By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer
While some communities have invested heavily in recent months in hopes of keeping their military installation off the closure list, eastern New Mexico is hoping that years of planning and anticipation will accomplish the same goal.
The region has long taken an active role in promoting community support for Cannon Air Force Base, said Randy Harris, president of Bank of Clovis. Harris is also a member of the Committee of Fifty that promotes and supports Cannon operations.
“You will hear a lot of stories about states that are putting millions and millions of dollars together,” Harris said. “We try to understand what the current needs (of the military) are and what the future needs are.”
Harris said many communities in America gear up in support of their bases in the six months leading up to the base realignment process. He said Cannon supporters have shown that same kind of loyalty continually over the past 50 years.
He said members of the Committee of Fifty routinely travel to Washington and speak with congressional and military leadership on behalf of the air base. The fact that Cannon has no encroachment or negative environmental issues, as well as the most expansive air space available, makes continued operations here attractive to military leadership, Harris said.
“The community relationship with (Cannon) is second to none in any place in the world,” Harris said.