Domenici and Bingaman move to authorize Cannon construction project

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, joined by Senator Jeff Bingaman as cosponsor, today introduced legislation to formally authorize an $18.1 million military construction project at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis.

            The legislation is intended to clear the way for the project to be eventually funded in the FY2009 Military Construction Appropriations Bill.  The bill authorizes $18.1 million to construct a Special Operations Forces Maintenance Hangar, which is associated with the Defense Department’s intention to use Cannon as an Air Force Special Operations base. 

            “In light of the difficulty we will likely face in accomplishing this year’s appropriations process, I believe it is important that we underscore the importance of defense funding for Cannon Air Force Base.  I expect that the base’s new mission will be further enhanced with these funds,” said Domenici, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

            “We’re making good progress on the plans to upgrade Cannon so that it is fully ready for its Special Ops mission.  Securing funding for the maintenance hangar will help make this transition possible,” said Bingaman.

            The $18.1 million project was recommended in the FY2009 budget plan submitted to Congress by the President.

            This legislation will be referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee, as will similar bills offered by the New Mexico Senators to authorize these military construction projects at Kirtland and Holloman Air Force bases:

• $14.4 million to construct a fuel storage replacement facility at Kirtland;

• $14.5 million to construct a Low Observable Composite Repair Facility at Holloman;

• $3.15 million for the additions and alterations to the Flight Simulator Facility at Holloman;

• $4.6 million to construct an Aerospace Ground Equipment Facility at Holloman;

• $2.15 million to construction a Jet Engine Maintenance Shop at Holloman; and,

• $1.05 million for additions and alterations to Aircraft Maintenance Units at Holloman.

In all, the Senators’ military constructions bills would authorize $57.95 million for New Mexico bases in FY2009.  The Cannon and Holloman projects are related to the transition of the Special Operations Command mission at Cannon and the eventual move of F-22 Raptor aircraft to Holloman.