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Cannon Air Force Base

Shield of the United States Air Force Special Operations Command.svg
Air Force Special Operations Command

Cannon AFB NM - 3 Mar 1997.jpg
USGS aerial photo as of 3 March 1997
Airport type Military: Air Force Base
Owner United States Air Force
Operator Air Force Special Operations Command
Location Clovis, New Mexico
Built 1943
In use April 8, 1943 - present
Occupants 27th Special Operations Wing
Elevation AMSL 4,295 ft / 1,309 m
Coordinates 34°22′58″N 103°19′20″W / 34.38278°N 103.32222°W / 34.38278; -103.32222
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 10,000 3,048 Concrete
13/31 8,200 2,499 PEM
Sources: official web site[1] and FAA[2]
Cannon AFB is located in New Mexico
Cannon AFB
Location of Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

Cannon Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: BOFICAO: KBOFFAA LID: BOF)is a United States Air Force base located approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of Clovis, New Mexico.

The host unit at Cannon is the 27th Special Operations Wing (27 SOW) assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command. The 27 SOG plans and executes specialized and contingency operations using advanced aircraft, tactics and air refueling techniques to infiltrate, exfiltrate and resupply special operations forces and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and close air support in support of SOF operations.

Cannon AFB was established in 1942 as Army Air Base, Clovis and is named for General John K. Cannon (1892-1955), a former commander of Tactical Air Command. The commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing is Colonel Stephen A. Clark. The Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant William W. Turner.


Cannon is the home of the 27th Special Operations Wing (27th SOW). The 27th SOW, activated Oct. 1, 2007. Slated for closure as part of BRAC 2005, the base received a new lease on life after much political pressure was applied by Governor Bill Richardson. The base has more than 50 years of unwavering service.

The 27th SOW - "The Western Home of America's Air Commandos" - has a primary missionto plan and execute specialized and contingency operations using advanced aircraft, tactics and air refueling techniques to infiltrate, exfiltrate and resupply special operations forces worldwide and provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and close air support in support of SOF operations.

Cannon is home to a variety of special operations aircraft, including the MC-130W Combat Spear, AC-130H Spectre, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, CV-22 Osprey and several versions of light and medium transport aviation aircraft.


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 tiltrotor aerial refueling, psychological warfare and other special missions. It directs the deployment, employment, training and planning for four squadrons that operate the MC-130W Combat Spear, AC-130H Spectre, MQ-1B Predator, and various light and medium transport aviation. In the coming years Cannon expects to add the CV-22 Osprey and MQ-9 Reaper.
  • 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 MC-130W Combat Spear 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.



Previous names

  • Established on 25 Sep 1942 as Army Air Base, Clovis
  • Clovis Army Airfield, 8 Apr 1943
  • Clovis Air Force Base, 13 Jan 1948
  • Cannon Air Force Base, 8 Jun 1957-Present

Major Commands to Which Assigned

  • Second Air Force, 6 Jul 1942
  • Continental Air Forces, 16 Apr 1945
Redesignated Strategic Air Command, 21 Mar 1946
  • Air Training Command, 1 Apr 1950
  • Tactical Air Command, 23 Jul 1951
  • Air Combat Command, 1 Jun 1992
  • Air Force Special Operations Command, 1 Oct 2007-Present

Base Operating Units

  • 409th Base HQ and Air Base Sq, 24 Dec 1942
  • 234th AAF Base Unit, 25 Mar 1944-16 Oct 1947
  • 509th Airdrome Gp, Clovis Det, 16 Dec 1947
  • 234th AF Base Unit, 1 Jul 1948-c. Apr 1950
  • Base inactive Apr 1950-1 Oct 1951
  • 140th Air Base Gp, 1 Oct 1951
  • 50th Air Base Gp, 1 Jan 1953
  • 4445th Air Base Sq, 25 Jun 1953
  • 388th Air Base Gp, 23 Nov 1953
  • 312th Air Base Gp, 7 Oct 1954
  • 832d Air Base Gp, 8 Oct 1957 (rdsgd 832d Combat Support Gp, 1 Oct 1962)
  • 27th Combat Support Gp, 8 Jun 1969 (redsg 27th Mission Support Gp, 1 Oct 1992)-Present

Major Units Assigned

  • 11th Altitude Training Unit, 22 Jul 1943-1 Apr 1944
  • 234th Army Air Force (later Air Force) Base Unit, 1 Apr 1944-1 Apr 1950
  • 301st Bombardment Group, 4 Aug 1946-16 Jul 1947
  • 140th Fighter-Bomber Group (NM ANG), 5 Jul 1951-1 Jan 1963
  • 50th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 Jul-23 Jul 1953
  • 388th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 23 Nov 1953-28 Nov 1954
  • 312th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 Oct 1954-18 Feb 1959
  • 474th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 8 Oct 1957-20 Jan 1968
  • 832d Air Divsion, 8 Oct 1957-1 Jul 1975
  • 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, 18 Feb 1959-30 Sep 2007
  • 27th Special Operations Wing, 1 Oct 2007-Present

Operational history

The history of the base began in the late 1920s, when a civilian passenger facility, Portair Field, was established on the site. In the 1930s, Portair was renamed Clovis Municipal Airport.

World War II

Clovis Army Airfield - 1943.
Boeing B-29 Superfortress

During World War II, the military began to use the facility as a bomber base. Clovis AAF was assigned to Second Air Force. On April 8, 1943, the base was renamed Clovis Army Air Field..

The host unit at Clovis was the 16th Bombardment Operational Wing, a training unit for Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber crews for Europe, and later becoming a major training/conversion base for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers heading to the Pacific Theater. The 16th Bomb Wing arrived in January 1943. Known USAAF groups assigned to Clovis AAF were:

  • 302d Bombardment Group (19 January - 17 December 1943)
    (B-24) Served as an operational training unit.
  • 450th Bombardment Group (21 May - 8 July 1943)
    (B-24) Trained with B-24s. Transferred to Fifteenth Air Force in Italy.
  • 498th Bombardment Group (20 November 1943 - 13 April 1944)
    (B-29) Trained with B-29 Superfortresses. Transferred to Twentieth Air Force in Saipan.
  • 497th Bombardment Group (1 December 1943 - 13 April 1944)
    (B-29) Trained with B-29 Superfortresses. Transferred to Twentieth Air Force in Saipan.
  • 472d Bombardment Group (7 December 1943 - 1 April 1944)
    (B-29) Trained with B-29 Superfortresses. Deactivated in place.
  • 500th Bombardment Group (12 January - 13 April 1944)
    (B-29) Trained with B-29 Superfortresses. Transferred to Twentieth Air Force in Saipan.
  • 93d Bombardment Group (13 December 1945)
    (B-24) Arrived at Clovis for deactivation.
  • 467th Bombardment Group (13 December 1945 - 4 August 1946)
    (B-29) Trained with B-29s Superfortresses. Deactivated in place.

During the war, the 16th Bomb Wing provided flying, bombing, gunnery and photographic reconnaissance training. On 25 March 1944, the 234th Army Air Force Base Unit took over host duties at Clovis.

Cold War

With the end of the war, plans were made to establish a permanent B-29 presence at Clovis. On 16 April 1945 Clovis was transferred from Second Air Force to Continental Air Command, which was redesignated Strategic Air Command (SAC) on 21 March 1946.

The immediate postwar use of Clovis was a processing center for personnel separating from service. However, by mid-1946, the airfield was placed on reduced operational status due to postwar funding cutbacks and flying activities decreased. On 16 October 1946 the 234th AAFBU was deactivated and on 1 November 1946 the airfield was placed under administrative control of Colorado Springs AAF.

Clovis AAF was finally placed on temporarily inactive status 28 May 1947.

With the establishment of the United States Air Force in September 1947, Clovis 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 as a detachment from its Headquarters at Roswell AAF, 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.

Clovis remained on standby status until 12 May 1950 when plans were made to reactivate the facility and station tactical air units at the base due to the advent of the Cold War. The base was assigned as subpost of Reese AFB, Texas on 12 May 1950 while construction ensued to bring the base up to USAF standards. On 1 July 1951, Clovis was assigned to Tactical Air Command (TAC).

140th Fighter-Bomber Wing

The first USAF unit to use Clovis AFB was the Air National Guard's 140th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 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 Guard. The wing flew the World War II vintage North American F-51D "Mustang".

During their period of federal service, elements of the 140th FBW took part in Operation Tumbler-Snapper - 1952, a nuclear bomb test in Nevada.

At the end of 1952, the elements of the 140th returned to Air National Guard control in their respective states.

The 140th returned to Cannon in 1968 as the 140th Tactical Fighter Wing. The unit was mobilized in response to North Korea's seizure of the U.S.S. Pueblo and included F-86 fighter squadrons from the Maryland and New York Air National Guards. While at Cannon, the units conducted ground attack training for Air Force pilots. The units were demobilized in December 1968 and returned to their respective states.

50th Fighter-Bomber Wing

North American F-86F-30-NA Sabres of the 50th FBW/417th FBS flying over West Germany. Serial 52-4656 is in front.
North American F-86F-35-NA Sabre AF Serial No. 53-1117 of the 388th FBW/563d FBS in France.
North American F-100D-75-NA Super Sabre AF Serial No. 56-3150 of the 386th TFS/312th TFW
474th TFW Wing Commander's aircraft, North American F-100D-75-NA Super Sabre, AF Serial No. 56-3176

The next unit to use Clovis was the 50th Fighter-Bomber Wing, which was activated on the base on 1 January 1953. Operational squadrons of the 50th FBW were:

The 50th flew the North American F-86F "Sabre", and stayed at the base a few months before transferrnig to Hahn Air Base, West Germany during Operation Fox Able 20 on 10 August 1953. This marked the first mass flight of an entire tactical wing from the U.S. to continental Europe.

388th Fighter-Bomber Wing

On 22 November 1953, the 388th Fighter-Bomber Wing activated at Clovis. The 388th's operational squadrons were:

  • 561st Fighter-Bomber Squadron (yellow)
  • 562d Fighter-Bomber Squadron (blue)
  • 563d Fighter-Bomber Squadron (red)

Each squadron was equipped with F-86F Sabres. Wing support aircraft consisted of 4 C-47s of various types, one L-20A, and 5 T-33s.

On 22 November 1954, the 388 FBW relocated to Etain-Rouvres Air Base, France.

312th/474th Fighter-Bomber Wings

With the departure of the 388th to France, the wing was replaced at the base by the 312th Fighter Bomber Wing, being activated at Clovis on 1 October 1954. Operational squadrons of the 312th FBW were:

  • 386th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (red)
  • 387th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (blue)
  • 388th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (yellow)
  • 477th Fighter-Bomber Squadron (activated October 1957) (F-100D/E) (green)

The 312th was equipped with the F-86H "Sabre

On 8 November 1954, the 474th Fighter Bomber Group became a second flying component of the 312th FBW. The 474th was transferred to Clovis from Taegu AB, South Korea after fighting in the Korean War. Operational squadrons and colors of the 474th FBG were:

The 474th was also equipped with North American F-86H "Sabre".

Several changes occurred at Clovis AFB in 1957. On 8 June Clovis AFB was renamed Cannon Air Force Base in honor of the late General John K. Cannon, a former commander of Tactical Air Command. In October of the same year, the 474th Fighter Bomber Group was elevated to wing status. With two fighter wings at the base, the 832nd Air Division was activated to oversee their activities.

In addition, in 1957, Cannon AFB became a major training installation for the new North American F-100 “Super-Sabre” pilots. The first F-100D/F aircraft arrived in December 1956 being assigned to the 312th. Later in the year, the 474th also converted.

The F-100 became the principal base aircraft for the next 12 years. From April 1956 to October 1957 the 312th TFW rotated tactical squadrons to either Châteauroux-Déols Air Base or Etain-Rouvres Air Base in France, for six month deployments to NATO. The 312th also furnished units for TAC composite air strike forces in the Far East during 1957 and 1958, deploying F-100s and crews to Taiwan during the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Also in 1958, F-100s from Cannon deployed to Turkey.

HQ USAF redesignated the 312th and 474th Tactical Fighter Wings on 1 July 1958, elevating the 437th to Wing status. Both wings remained at Cannon, being placed under TAC's 832d Air Division.

27th Tactical Fighter Wing

1959 brought organizational changes at Cannon AFB. With the transfer of Bergstrom AFB, Texas to Strategic Air Command, TAC deactivated the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Bergstrom and activated it in place at Cannon on 18 February, replacing the 312th TFW which was deactivated in place the same day for reasons of precedence. The 27th TFW, in various designations, has been assigned to Cannon AFB for over 45 years. The operational squadrons of the defunct 312th TFW were redesignated as follows:

  • 477th TFS became the 481st Tactical Fighter Squadron (CA/CC green colors)
  • 386th TFS became the 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron (CC red colors)
  • 387th TFS became the 523d Tactical Fighter Squadron (blue colors)
  • 388th TFS became the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron (CD/CC yellow colors)

Succeeding major deployments of Cannon’s F-100s took place during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Beginning in 1966, the natural aluminum finish of TAC aircraft began to be replaced by the Southeast Asian camouflage motif. In 1968, two digit squadron tail codes appeared on the aircraft for identification purposes. Codes used with the 27th were "CA" for the 427th; "CC" for the 522d and "CD" for the 524th. In 1972, these were standaridized to "CC" for all 27th TFW aircraft.

On 18 July 1967, the 474th TFW converted from F-100s into new General Dynamics F-111A aircraft. The 474th was the first USAF F-111A Wing to receive the F-111. In January 1968, the 474th was transferred to Luke AFB, Arizona, leaving Cannon AFB with the 27th TFW as the sole operational fighter wing. Headquarters 832d Air Division, however, remained at Cannon exercising operational control over several TAC wings (including the reassigned 474th) until its inactivation in 1975.

Vietnam era

North American F-100F-10-NA Super Sabre AF Serial No. 56-3867 of the 524th TFS in Vietnam-Era camouflage.

Units from Cannon deployed the first F-100 squadron to Thailand in 1962-1963, and South Vietnam in 1964. Beginning in 1964 and throughout the Vietnam War years squadrons from the 27th TFW were deployed and detached to Air Force units and bases around the world. The 27th did not recombine as a cohesive wing until 1973.

The 522d and 523d Tactical Fighter Squadrons were assigned to Clark Air Base, Philippines on a rotating basis, deploying to South Vietnam on a rotating basis from 8 August 1964 until 25 November 1965. The 523d replaced the squadron at Clark beginning on 23 November 1965, not returning to Cannon until 31 August 1973.

Other deployments of 27th TFW aircraft and squadrons (481st, 522d, 524th) were to Hahn AB, Germany; Chambley-Bussieres AB, France; Incirlik AB, Turkey; Dhahran AB, Saudi Arabia; Misawa AB, Japan; Kunsan AB, South Korea; Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; and Udon RTAFB, Thailand.

In December 1965, with most of its operational squadrons deployed, the mission of the 27th changed from a Tactical Fighter Wing to a replacement training unit. The 27th Tactical Fighter Wing became the largest such unit in TAC. The 4585th Student Squadron was initially activated on 1 January 1966 to perform this mission. Later, the 4429th Combat Crew Training Squadron was activated on 15 May 1968 as a 2d training squadron, replacing the deployed 523d TFS.

On 1 January 1969 the 4427th Tactical Training Squadron replaced the 4585th SS. The 465th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron replaced the 4429th CCTS on 1 December 1972, arriving from Holloman AFB, New Mexico.

Many F-100 pilots that flew in the Vietnam War were trained at Cannon AFB. From Cannon, the aircrews were transferred to the F-100 bases in South Vietnam - Phù Cát Air Base (37th TFW); Phan Rang AB (35th TFW) and Tuy Hoa AB (31st TFW).

The 27th also trained forward air controllers and air liaison officers in Lockheed T-33 Shooting Stars from 1969 to 1976. The 4468 Tac Control Squadron initially performed this mission in 1969, being replaced by the 609th Tac Control Squadron. The 609th TCS was inacivated on 15 June 1976.

Post-Vietnam era

General Dynamics F-111F AF Serial No. 70-2406 of the 523d TFS in 1990s camouflage motif. This aircraft was retired to AMARC on 19 October 1995

With the withdrawal of the F-100 from Vietnam in 1970, and the phaseout of the aircraft from the active Air Force inventory, the 27th TFW began conversion to the General Dynamics F-111E "Aardvark" in late 1969. This was a several year conversion process, when in July 1972, the last operational active duty Air Force F-100s were transferred from the 27th TFW to the Air National Guard.

The first squadron to receive the F-111E was the 481st TFS, receiving the aircraft on 30 September 1969. In addition, older F-111A models were received in October 1969. The squadron reached initial operational capability with the F-111E in the fall of 1969, and had 29 F-111Es by December. However, several accidents involving wing longerons grounded the aircraft until July 1970.

In October 1971, the 522d TFS received both F-111A and F-111Es, although the last F-100D from the squadron did not depart until 19 July 1972; the 524th TFS began receiving their first F-111A/E on 19 July 1972 as well. As part of the wing's training mission, the 4427th Tactical Fighter Replacement Squadron was activated on 1 October 1971 as an F-111D training unit.

The F-111A and F-111E models were not to remain long at Cannon, being replaced in 1972 with the more advanced F-111D. The F-111Es were sent to RAF Upper Heyford, England and the F-111As being sent to the 474th TFW at Nellis or were converted into EF-111A Raven electronic warfare aircraft.

After the conversion to the F-111D, the operational squadrons of the 27th TFW in 1973 were:

  • 481st Tactical Fighter Squadron (December 1972), (Redesignated 481st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron 15 January 1976)
  • 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron (May 1972)
  • 523d Tactical Fighter Squadron (August 1973) (From 405th TFW 15 Aug 1973 replacing 465th TFS which was deactivated in place)
  • 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron (July 1972)
  • 4427th Tactical Fighter Replacement Squadron (June 1972) (Deactivated on 15 January 1976. Aircraft reassigned to 481st TFTS.)

The 837th Air Division moved to Nellis AFB Nevada on 1 July 1975, after which the 27th TFW became the host unit at Cannon.

1980 to 1992

The 481st TFTS was deactivated in January 1980 and the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron was redesignated the 524th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. That left the 27th TFW with two operationally deployable and one training squadron:

  • 522d Tactical Fighter Squadron
  • 523d Tactical Fighter Squadron
  • 524th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron

1988 marked the beginning of Cannon’s expansion as a result of decisions made by the Secretary of Defense’s Commission on Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC). The 428th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron formerly of the 474th TFW at Cannon was reactivated with the 27th TFW on 15 December, being equipped with the F-111G. The "G" model was a conversion of the former SAC FB-111A all-weather strategic bombing version of the F-111, which was originally intended as an interim successor to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and Convair B-58 Hustler.) These aircraft, less their nuclear delivery capability, were transferred to Cannon following the disbandment of SAC's 509th Bomb Wing at Pease AFB, New Hampshire and the 380th Bomb Wing at Plattsburgh AFB, New York.

The F-111Gs at Cannon were used primarily for training, but were scheduled to be supplanted in the training role by the F-111E. This made the F-111G surplus to USAF requirements, and the F-111G began to be transferred to AMARC for storage in 1991 with the arrival of the "E" models with the 428th TFTS. The last G model was sent to AMARC in 1993.

Personnel of the 27th TFW played a role during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Aircrews and aircraft of the 27th did not deploy to the region, but support personnel and a combat support group element of the wing's 27th Combat Support Group, commanded by Colonel David Benson, deployed to Taif. On 16 January 1991, when the U.S. led coalition force initiated the Desert Storm air campaign against Iraq, the 27th TFW had 325 personnel serving in the Persian Gulf region in combat support roles.

Post Cold War

On 1 November 1991, the 27th TFW was re-designated the 27th Fighter Wing as part of an Air Force-wide reorganization. In June 1992, the 27th FW became part of a new major command - Air Combat Command. ACC was created when SAC, TAC, and the Military Airlift Command (MAC) merged to form two commands, ACC and the Air Mobility Command (AMC).

On 1 August 1992, a fifth operational F-111 squadron was added to the 27th FW with the activation of the 429th Electronic Combat Squadron was reactivated at Cannon flying the Grumman EF-111A Raven. The EF-111A was an electronic countermeasures version of the F-111A, developed in the 1970s to replace the Douglas EB-66 Destroyer. The 429th was formerly at Cannon with the 474th TFW. On 22 June 1993 the squadron was redesignated the 430th ECS.

In addition, the 522d, 523d and 524th Fighter Squadrons replaced their F-111D models for the upgraded F-111F model. The F-111F differed from the F-111D in having more advanced electronics which were nevertheless simplified and more reliable, along with improved landing gear.

From September 1992 to July 1993, 27th FW F-111 aircrews and support personnel rotated to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation PROVIDE COMFORT.

General Dynamics EF-111A AF Serial No. 67-0035 of the 429th/430th Electronic Combat Squadron. Aircraft sent to AMARC on 28 April 1998.
General Dynamics Block 40B F-16C of the 524th Fighter Squadron, AF Serial No. 88-0416. This was the first F-16 delivered to the 524th FS.

In 1995, the face of the flightline changed when the wing began its transition from the F-111 to General Dynamics F-16C/D aircraft. The first F-16s to arrive in May were assigned to the 522nd Fighter Squadron. Also transitioning were the 523rd and 524th Fighter Squadrons.

With the arrival of the F-16s, the F-111s were sent to AMARC. The 428th Fighter Squadron was inactivated in September 1995, and the EF-111A-equipped 429th ECS was deactivated in May, 1998 with the 27th Fighter Wing officially holding a retirement ceremony in memorial park. The F-111 in various forms had been at Cannon AFB for 29 years. With their retirement, the 430th ECS was deactivated.

On 15 January 1998, the 524th Fighter Squadron ventured to the desert for their first overseas deployment since transitioning to the F-16. The 522nd Fighter Squadron deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia in direct support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. They flew missions enforcing United Nations Security Council resolutions of a no-fly zone over Southern Iraq. In March, the 523d Fighter Squadron also deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

These two 27th FW squadrons were the first F-16 unit to replace Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II units performing close air support. In addition, they were the first F-16 unit to maintain the demanding combat search and rescue alert in Southwest Asia. While deployed to the Gulf region in December 1998, the F-16s from the 522nd Fighter Squadron provided close air support alert, defensive counter air alert and interdiction in Iraq.

In August, 1998, the 524th Fighter Squadron deployed to Hill AFB, Utah for exercise Combat Hammer. During the exercise, they dropped inert GBU-24 Paveway III laser guided bombs and fired live AGM-65 Maverick antitank missiles on Utah test range. The hit rate was one of the highest ever seen in the Air Force, showcasing the lethality of the Block 40 F-16.

In 1998, the governments of the United States and Singapore signed an agreement laying the foundation of the Peace Carvin III program. As a Foreign Military Sales training program for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Peace Carvin III was designed for the continued training of RSAF in rapid deployment and tactical employment of the block 52 F-16 C/D throughout a wide spectrum of missions including air to- air, joint maritime and precision air-to-ground weapons delivery.

In support of Peace Carvin III, the 428th Fighter Squadron was reactivated on 15 September 1998 and tasked to take the lead in Peace Carvin III. The squadron was a hybrid of USAF and RSAF F-16 C/D manned by USAF instructor pilots, Singaporean pilots and combined RSAF and USAF teams of maintenance and support personnel.

In May 1999, the 428th Fighter Squadron participated in its first official major exercise after its reactivation. The squadron deployed to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, for exercise Combat Archer. The exercise was designed to test weapons capabilities, tactics and employment. This included the first live firing of radar-guided air-to air AIM-7 Sparrow by the RSAF.

With the completion of Peace Carvin III, the 428th FS was deactivated on 6 July 2005.

In July 1999, the 522nd Fighter Squadron deployed to Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, to support NATO exercise Coronet Norsemen. They served primarily as the combat air arm of the Iceland Defense Force. In August 1999, the 523rd Fighter Squadron relieved the 522nd Fighter Squadron from Coronet Norsemen.

During Operation ALLIED FORCE in 1999, the 524th Fighter Squadron was notified for "on-call" duty to augment forces. Quick termination of hostilities precluded the 524th Fighter Squadron from seeing action.

Global War On Terror

11 September 2001 the day terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, aircraft from 522nd FS, 523rd FS and 524th FS went on alert.

In December 2002, the 524 FS deployed to Kuwait and participated in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, dropping nearly a million pounds of precision guided munitions, more than any other F-16 Block 40 squadron in history.

BRAC 2005

On 13 May 2005, The Base Realignment and Closure commission recommended that Cannon Air Force Base be closed. 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 2009 to come up with a new use for Cannon AFB, otherwise the base would be closed in 2010.

On June 20 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. However, it was subsequently determined 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.

According to the Air Force News Service, new airframes, to include the CV-22 Osprey, will likely be assigned to the Hurlburt Field and Duke Field complexes at Eglin AFB, Florida as well as to the new wing at Cannon. Other potential aircraft for Cannon AFB are AC-130H Gunships and the MC-130H Combat Talon II. The final aircraft mix between Cannon and Hurlburt Field has not been finalized. [1]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP portion of the base has a total area of 5.3 square miles (13.8 km²), of which, 5.3 square miles (13.8 km²) of it is land and 0.19% is water.


As of the census[3] 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/sq mi (79.0/km²). The racial makeup of the residents was 67.97% White, 13.34% African American, 0.70% Native American, 5.71% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 6.06% from other races, and 5.91% from two or more races. 12.12% 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 also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Cannon Air Force Base".

  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office 1961 (republished 1983, Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0-912799-02-1).
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Mueller, Robert, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989
  • Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 USAF Reference Series, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C., 1989
  • Baugher, Joe. USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers—1908 to present. USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present
  • Martin, Patrick, Tail Code: The Complete History Of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings, 1994
  • Menard, David W. USAF Plus Fifteen - A Photo History 1947 - 1962. Lancaster, PA: Schiffere Books,1993. ISBN 0-88740-483-9.
  • Rogers, Brian, United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978, 2005

External links


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