Domenici responds to GAO

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman today asserted that a new Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) report affirms that the Air Force used the correct analysis and made the right decision to locate an Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) mission at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico

          The GAO-initiated report, “Defense Infrastructure:  Realignment of Air Force Special Operations Command Unites to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico,” studied the decision to locate AFSOC assets at Cannon and found that the process for the decision was based on sound information.   It also looks at future personnel and aircraft estimates at Cannon, and affirms AFSOC plans at the base. Domenici and Bingaman indicated that the GAO report does not diminish their expectations for Cannon’s future. 

          “There’s nothing earth-shattering in this report, and it only solidifies my enthusiasm for the future of AFSOC at Cannon,” Domenici said.  “While the GAO might estimate that there will be fewer aircraft at Cannon, the truth is AFSOC numbers have changed before and could change again.  We don’t know for sure what the final Cannon numbers will be, but know there will be great things for Cannon.  We just have to look at the recent Air Force Roadmap to see all the great assets they are considering for Cannon’s future.”

“I’m certain AFSOC will have a long relationship with Cannon Air Force Base, and that it will play an increasingly important role in our national security,” Bingaman said.

          Domenici, who serves on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Bingaman also pointed to the FY2008 Defense Appropriations Bill that provided $10.75 million for military construction projects at Cannon as a signal of the ongoing growth they expect at the base as the AFSOC mission is fully implemented.  The defense spending bill also contained $238 million for Special Operations Forces to modify CV-22 aircraft, which should have an impact on Cannon.