Air Force gets approval for N.M. land gift

The Associated Press

SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson says the Air Force has received a waiver from defense officials to proceed with a land gift associated with the Melrose Bombing Range in eastern New Mexico.

The waiver from the Office of the Secretary of Defense follows Richardson’s commitment of $5 million worth of land to the bombing range to help save Cannon Air Force Base during base realignment and closure proceedings in 2005.

With the land gift, Richardson says the Air Force will be able to expand the bombing range. He says the range is extremely important to the future of Cannon Air Force Base and the communities of Clovis, Portales and Melrose.

The New Mexico Legislature appropriated money during the 2006 session for the acquisition of the land to expand the range.