7/14 BRAC Letters to the editor

Civilians can’t change military’s mind
I have spent 15 years of my life at Cannon Air Force Base. I’m not from here, but in 1990 the Department of Defense assigned my Air Force spouse and family here; a mandatory assignment, due to a higher TAC (Tactical Air Command) need. I’ve seen it all as far as the base support is concerned. I was employed by the largest retail chain in Clovis. And daily I received comments from local employees such as “Oh, you’re from the base … Why do you need a job here? You don’t have to pay bills like us.” Such prejudice was greeted with answers like “I did not ask to be assigned to Cannon. And the Air Force does not pay that much to feed a family.”

Still the prejudice continued. My young son played youth football for the base team. And we were always booed or hounded by the town’s parents. And now that Cannon is on a closure list, and the town is thinking about the dollar, everyone is all of the sudden appreciative of our sacrifices.

My opinion: It does not matter how much civilians whine and cry about the base leaving. It is a military matter. The DoD will decide what is best for the mission. Did they listen to the civilians marching on Washington D.C., against the Vietnam war? No.

Clovis will survive and thrive no matter what happens to Cannon. We’re all Americans and we have ways to make the future and our communities prosperous. That’s just what we do.

Michael M. Richards

Defense Department’s wisdom questionable
Considering the on-going Base Realignment and Closure process and initiatives to close Department of Defense bases across the country, I must question the motives and common sense of the DoD and, especially, the Air Force leadership.

According to an article written by Bob Campbell on July 6, with a follow-up article on Monday, published in the Midland (Texas) Reporter Telegram, the Air Force intends to open a Centralized Introductory Pilot Training Program in Midland or Selma, Ala. This program will train approximately 1,300 student pilots annually.

My question is, when we are closing bases essential to our national defense, why are they placing operations into locations that will require new construction?

This is ludicrous.

It seems that in the current DoD BRAC situation, someone could find a better use of our existing facilities and forego the use of additional funds to locate alternate sites.

Isn’t the whole idea to save money? Once again, DoD’s infinite wisdom is in question for those of us at places like Cannon Air Force Base.

Bruce A. Ford

BRAC misinformation cause for concern
At the conclusion of last month’s presentation on Cannon Air Force Base, I was left with a profound feeling of concern. Our representatives presented quite a number of facts that indicated the process of drawing up the Base Realignment and Closure list might have included incorrect, incomplete, and/or outdated information and used criteria that may be flawed.

The impact to our national defense and to local economies dictate that the process for creating the BRAC list must be the best possible. If the selection of the data used for evaluating Cannon Air Force Base is representative of data used for the complete list, then that suggests the entire list may be flawed.

Sadly, I am of the opinion that the selection data is flawed and would strongly recommend that the BRAC Commission reject the entire list, and recommend that a new list should be prepared using accurate data and criteria.

Phil Williams