BRAC documents still under review

The Associated Press

Aides for New Mexico’s congressional delegation and others concerned with the Pentagon’s plans to close Cannon Air Force Base say it may be next week before they’re able to tell much about documents released to justify the recommendation.

“The materials from the Pentagon are very complex and it’s going to take a long time to sift through it,” said Glen Loveland, a spokesman for Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., whose district includes Cannon.

“We may also need to request additional information from the Pentagon,” he said Wednesday.

The Department of Defense released its list of proposed base realignments and closings May 13, and on Tuesday released analyses of the installations.

Lawmakers from around the nation hope to use that information to persuade the independent commission reviewing the closings to remove certain installations from the hit list.

The next step is for the commission to review the recommendations and hold hearings, including a June 24 hearing in Clovis.

It would take five of the nine commissioners to remove a base from the list.

The panel’s recommendations are due to President Bush by Sept. 8. He president may accept or reject the entire list. If he accepts it, it goes to Congress for a yes or no vote, again on the entire list.

Randy Harris of Clovis’ Committee of Fifty said an initial look at the Cannon documents seemed to indicate the base was targeted because it’s relatively small. Harris said that fails to take into account such things as Cannon’s ability to train year-round and the lack of encroachment on its airspace.