Cannon Air Force Base

Cannon Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Clovis, New Mexico. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The population of the Cannon AFB CDP was 2,245 as of the 2010 census. The host unit at Cannon is the 27th Special Operations Wing (27 SOW), which activated on 1 October 2007, and is assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The 27 SOW plans and executes specialized and contingency operations using advanced aircraft, tactics and air refueling techniques to infiltrate, exfiltrate and resupply special operations forces (SOF) and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and close air support in support of SOF operations.

Cannon Air Force Base
Near Clovis, New Mexico in United States of America
An AC-130W Stinger II of the 73rd Special Operations Squadron on the flight line at Cannon Air Force Base.
An AC-130W Stinger II of the 73rd Special Operations Squadron on the flight line at Cannon Air Force Base.
Shield of the United States Air Force Special Operations Command.svg
Cannon is located in New Mexico
Cannon is located in the United States
Coordinates34°22′58″N 103°19′20″W / 34.38278°N 103.32222°W / 34.38278; -103.32222Coordinates: 34°22′58″N 103°19′20″W / 34.38278°N 103.32222°W / 34.38278; -103.32222
TypeUS Air Force Base
Site information
OwnerDepartment of Defense
OperatorUS Air Force
Controlled byAir Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
Site history
Built1942 (1942) (as Army Air Base Clovis)
In use1942 – present
Garrison information
Colonel Terence Taylor
Garrison27th Special Operations Wing
Airfield information
IdentifiersIATA: CVS, ICAO: KCVS, FAA LID: CVS, WMO: 722686
Elevation1,309.2 metres (4,295 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
04/22 3,049 metres (10,003 ft) Concrete
13/31 2,498 metres (8,196 ft) PEM
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Cannon AFB was established in 1942 as Army Air Base, Clovis. The commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing is Colonel Tony D. Bauernfeind.[2] The Command Chief Master Sergeant is Paul J Henderson II.[3]

A variety of special operations aircraft are stationed at Cannon, including the AC-130W Stinger II, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, CV-22 Osprey and several versions of light and medium transport aviation aircraft. The AC-130W is assigned to the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, with all twelve becoming operational in 2010.[4]


Cannon Air Force Base is named in honor of General John K. Cannon (1892–1955). The history of the base began in the late 1920s, when a civilian passenger facility, Portair Field, was established on the site. Portair Field was used as a terminal for early commercial transcontinental flights, flew passengers in the Ford Trimotor "Tin Goose" by day, and used Pullman trains for night travel. In the 1930s Portair was renamed Clovis Municipal Airport.

World War IIEdit

Clovis Army Airfield – 1943.

After the United States entered World War II, the first military unit to use the facility was a glider detachment. On 6 July 1942 the base was assigned to Second Air Force. In 1943, the military began to use the facility as a bomber base. Clovis AAF was assigned to II Bomber Command, Second Air Force. On 8 April 1943, the base was renamed Clovis Army Air Field. The host unit at Clovis AAF was the 16th Bombardment Wing, a training unit for Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber crews for Europe. The 16th Bomb Wing arrived in January 1943.

By mid-1946, the airfield was placed on reduced operational status due to postwar funding cutbacks and decreased flying activities. On 16 October 1946, the 234th AAFBU was inactivated and on 1 November 1946, the airfield was placed under administrative control of Colorado Springs Army Air Base, Colorado. Clovis AAF was placed on temporarily inactive status 28 May 1947.

Cold WarEdit

With the establishment of the United States Air Force in September 1947, Clovis AAF was reactivated. The 509th Airdrome Group, Clovis Detachment took over day-to-day responsibilities for the airfield on 16 December 1947. The 509th operated Clovis AAF as a detachment from its headquarters at Roswell Army Air Field, New Mexico, using the airfield as a deployment facility for the group's B-29s. Clovis AAF was renamed "Clovis Air Force Base" on 13 January 1948. However, with no funds to host an active SAC bomb wing, Clovis AFB was placed on reserve/standby status on 1 July 1948. Its caretaker unit was the 234th Air Force Base Unit.

474th Tactical Fighter Wing Commanders' F-100D Super Sabre at Cannon AFB during the 1950s.

Clovis AFB remained on standby status until 1 April 1950 when jurisdiction was transferred from Strategic Air Command (SAC) to Air Training Command (ATC). ATC assigned the base as subpost of Reese AFB, Texas on 12 May 1950, while construction ensued to bring the base up to USAF standards. Plans were made to make Clovis AFB a contract flying training facility, however the advent of the Korean War changed the Air Force's plans for Clovis and jurisdiction was transferred to Tactical Air Command (TAC) as a fighter base on 23 July 1951.

The first USAF unit to use Clovis AFB was the Air National Guard's 140th Fighter-Bomber Wing (140th FBW), which arrived in October 1951 after being activated due to the Korean War. The 140th FBW was a composite unit, made up of elements from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming Air National Guards.

21st centuryEdit

On 13 May 2005, the Secretary of Defense recommended that Cannon Air Force Base be closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) process. However, on 25 August 2005, the BRAC Commission overturned the recommendation that Cannon AFB be closed, but upheld the withdrawal of the base's F-16 fighter aircraft. The Air Force had until 31 December 2009 to propose a new use for Cannon AFB, otherwise the base would be closed in 2010.[5] Cannon AFB attempted to reopen a rejected EIS alternative, by substituting an Environmental Assessment. Comments were accepted through 4 October 2010.[6]

On 20 June 2006, it was announced that Cannon AFB would transfer from Air Combat Command and become an Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) installation. Initial word was that the 16th Special Operations Wing would transfer from Hurlburt Field, Florida. It was later decided that the 27th Fighter Wing would transfer from ACC to AFSOC and become the 27th Special Operations Wing. This action would entail expanding and realigning some aspects of both the 16th Special Operations Wing and Air Force Special Operations Command, also headquartered at Hurlburt Field. This designation means that the base will receive new aircraft to replace the F-16s lost in the BRAC realignment. Jurisdiction was formally transferred to Air Force Special Operations Command on 1 October 2007.

New airframes, including the CV-22 Osprey, were assigned to the new wing at Cannon. Other potential aircraft for Cannon AFB are AC-130H Spectre Gunships and the MC-130H Combat Talon II. The final aircraft mix between Cannon AFB and Hurlburt Field has not been finalized.[7] As of 20 May 2009 two AC-130H Spectres arrived at the base. These are the first of about eight gunships that will be assigned to the base by the end of the summer.[8]

Role and operationsEdit

CV-22 Osprey of the 27th Operations Wing

Base units include:

One of four groups assigned to the 27th Special Operations Wing. The group accomplishes global special operations taskings as an Air Force component member of the United States Special Operations Command. It conducts infiltration/ exfiltration, combat support, helicopter and tilt-rotor aerial refueling, psychological warfare and other special missions. It directs the deployment, employment, training and planning for seven squadrons that operate the CV-22 Osprey, AC-130W Stinger II, MC-130J, MQ-1B Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, and various light and medium transport aviation.
  • 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group
Composed of the 27th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 27th Special Operations Component Maintenance Squadron, 27th Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron and the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Operations Squadron. There are approximately 420 personnel assigned to the group. The 27 SOMXG vision of "The Power in Airpower!" is accomplished daily through innovation, teamwork, integrity and professionalism. The group supports the aircraft of the 27th Special Operations Wing through integrated maintenance support of the AFSOC mission. The 27 SOMXG maintains weapon systems, equipment and vehicles; sustains combat readiness; manages maintenance resources; and provides maintenance services. Most importantly, they prepare, support and execute contingency plans for worldwide mobilization, deployment and employment of wing aircraft.
  • 27th Special Operations Mission Support Group
Provides base support and services activities to ensure mission readiness of the 27th Special Operations Wing, including housing, facility construction and maintenance, food service, law enforcement, fire protection, communications, personnel support, lodging, recreation, environmental management, contracting, supply, transportation, logistics plans and other base services.
  • 27th Special Operations Medical Group
Provides base medical services activities to ensure mission readiness of the 27th Special Operations Wing.

Based unitsEdit

Flying and notable non-flying units based at Cannon Air Force Base.[9]

Units marked GSU are Geographically Separate Units, which although based at Cannon, are subordinate to a parent unit based at another location.

United States Air ForceEdit

Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)

Previous namesEdit

  • Army Air Base, Clovis, 25 September 1942 (establishment)-7 April 1943
  • Clovis Army Airfield, 8 April 1943 – 12 January 1948
  • Clovis Air Force Base, 13 January 1948 – 7 June 1957
  • Cannon Air Force Base, 8 June 1957–present

Previous operating unitsEdit

Major units assignedEdit

Geography and DemographicsEdit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP portion of the base has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km2), of which, 5.3 square miles (14 km2) of it is land and 0.19% is water.

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 2,557 people, 921 households, and 575 families residing on the base. The population density was 481.8 people per square mile (185.9/km2). There were 1,087 housing units at an average density of 204.8 per square mile (79.0/km2). The racial makeup of the residents was 68.0% White, 13.3% African American, 0.7% Native American, 5.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 6.1% from other races, and 5.9% from two or more races. 12.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 921 households, out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 4.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 0.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.82.

On the base the population was spread out, with 20.2% under the age of 18, 52.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 0.8% from 45 to 64, and 0.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 153.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 171.4 males.

The median income for a household on the base was $18,465, and the median income for a family was $25,573. Males had a median income of $15,546 versus $14,635 for females. The per capita income for the base was $11,562. 12.0% of the population and 11.5% of families were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under the age of 18 and 0.0% of those 65 and older.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Airport Diagram – Cannon AFB (KCVS)" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Schanz, Marc (March 2008). "Special Operators Head West". Air Force Magazine, Journal of the Air Force Association., p. 32.
  5. ^ Cannon AFB, New Mexico. Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Cultural Energy - Media Voices of Northern New Mexico". Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Air Force News Service". Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Spectres Arrive". Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Units". Cannon AFB. US Air Force. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 31 January 2008.

Other sourcesEdit

External linksEdit