Pentagon: U.S. concedes mistakes in Pakistani deaths

The Associated Press WASHINGTON — After 10 years of war in Afghanistan, a persistent lack of trust between the U.S. and Pakistan still complicates operations along the critical Afghanistan border and was a key factor in the errant American airstrikes late last month that killed 24 Pakistani troops. U.S. officials on Thursday accepted some blame […]

Gates’ advice on gay policy on right course

Freedom New Mexico A long-awaited Pentagon report on repealing the “don’t’ ask don’t tell” policy so that gay people can serve openly in the military services strongly suggests, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates put it, that it “would not be the wrenching, traumatic change that some people have predicted.” The report also noted, however, that […]

Training won’t hurt communities

Regarding the Pentagon’s proposed training initiative that would create a low-altitude training range covering most of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. I flew almost 4,000 hours in United States Air Force fighter jets. We flew hundreds of low-level sorties in high speed and relatively loud jets every day over densely populated parts of Europe. […]

Cannon commander recalls 9/11 Pentagon attack

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Col. Stephen Clark was in an office on the opposite side of the building where the plane hit the Pentagon. By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico If a meeting hadn’t been canceled, Col. Stephen Clark would likely have died when a terrorist-piloted plane slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Although he is now […]

Senate doesn’t need to stop with F-22 cut

The 58-40 Senate vote last week to stop production of more F-22 fighter planes was a welcome bit of sanity applied to Pentagon spending. Whether it will lead to less wasteful Pentagon procurement policies in the future or go down as simply a symbolic gesture is a more complicated question. The F-22 was developed in […]

Revised bill could boost recruiting

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The quality and number of American youth drawn to military service should climb soon because of enhanced education benefits to be provided under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, say Pentagon recruiting experts. “It is a very attractive incentive package, there’s no question about that. So individuals will be very interested […]

Costly defense doesn’t protect ground troops

Freedom New Mexico The Government Accountability Office has issued yet another study documenting gross overspending and underproduction in Pentagon weapons systems. The GAO has been doing these studies and making recommendations for the past six years, followed by promises from the Pentagon and defense contractors to improve. But the problems have not gotten better. If […]

Special operations gets funding in Pentagon non-war budget

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — Congress approved a big boost in the Pentagon’s non-war budget late Thursday. The budget includes money for Air Force Special Operations to modify CV-22 Ospreys and other funding that will boost several programs in eastern New Mexico, according to a press release from U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. Cannon […]

Survivor recalls Sept. 11 attack

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Van Walworth of Nashville, Tenn. entertains a crowd Tuesday during a Sept. 11 ceremony at Patriot Outdoors. Walworth sang songs that were inspired by 9/11. By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer Penny Bailey remembers watching in amazement as firefighters rushed into the Pentagon trying to find survivors of the Sept. […]

Facts don’t justify Libby commutation

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers It’s unfortunate “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” is on summer break, because only a comedy program could accurately reflect the idea of President George W. Bush commuting a prison sentence. Bush erased a 30-month sentence for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, convicted of four counts relating to the investigation in […]

Cannon granted fuel facility funds

Staff and wire reports CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, — The Pentagon on Friday released $13.2 million for Cannon Air Force Base in southeastern New Mexico, the state’s congressional delegation says. The delegation in November asked the Pentagon to release the funds for a fuel storage and distribution system at the base near Clovis. “Along with […]

Budget trims shouldn’t happen only in emergencies

We hope President Bush’s recent signing of a long delayed $94.5 billion military supplemental spending bill relieves the cash crunch that led to a hiring freeze at many military facilities. But it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, end efforts by the Pentagon to pinch pennies, because every military dollar spent in superfluous or wasteful ways is one […]

Cannon on Air Force special ops short list

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer An in-depth report examining Cannon Air Force Base as a potential site for Air Force special forces has been submitted to the Pentagon, a spokesman for Air Force Special Operations Command told the Clovis News Journal on Monday. Cannon and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., are two […]

Brochure touts base’s assets

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Col. James Holland, director of the Air Force BRAC Program Management Office in Washington D.C., speaks about the possible options for Cannon Air Force Base on Thursday during an interview at the base. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer A glossy brochure peddling the assets of Cannon Air Force Base was […]

Cannon being evaluated

CNJ staff An eight-member mission team from the Air Force arrived Tuesday at Cannon Air Force Base to begin evaluating possible missions for the base. Randy Harris of the base support group Committee of Fifty said the Air Force team spent the day collecting data, which will help determine Cannon’s future. Community leaders have said […]

Cannon mission team formed

Staff and wire reports An eight-member Air Force team will visit Cannon Air Force Base next week to begin evaluating possible new missions for the base, officials said on Tuesday. The Base Closure and Realignment Commission rejected the Pentagon’s proposal in August to close the base, opting instead to keep it open temporarily. Cannon’s three […]

Closure list sailing through Congress

By Liz Sidoti: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — A plan to close and reconfigure hundreds of military bases is sailing through Congress, on track to take effect next month in a blow to communities hoping for an eleventh-hour reprieve. In a long-shot attempt to halt the first round of base closings in a decade, the […]

Reporter’s notebook: Squadron receives presidential citation after 60 years

Ret. Col. William Creech waited 60 years for his squadron to receive a presidential citation. The former Cannon Air Force Base commander said he grew tired of school children not knowing what he and others in the Army Air Corp’s 528th fighter squadron did in World War II. Creech said his squadron, dubbed the Dragonflies, […]

Cannon language remains in Senate bill

Freedom Newspapers WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved a Defense Appropriations Bill on Friday with language favorable to keep Cannon Air Force Base intact until the Pentagon looks for a new mission for the base. The a final defense budget bill now awaits House input. The language introduced into the bill by U.S. Sens. Pete […]

Feds: Cannon assessment team not official

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer Formation of a federal team to assess future missions for Cannon Air Force Base is not official, a Department of Defense spokesman said on Wednesday. Gov. Bill Richardson said Monday a Pentagon-led team will assess possible missions for Cannon and report the findings to the Pentagon in 180 days. […]