To execute specialized airpower from a premier installation
Air Commandos...Ready today, relevant tomorrow, resilient always
Provide our nation's specialized airpower, capable across the spectrum of conflict...any place, any time, anywhere
Ensure readiness to execute global special operations today
Transform our force and fleet to maintain relevance tomorrow
Invest in the resiliency of our force, family, and relationships
Cannon Air Force Base, home of the 27th Special Operations Wing, lies in the high plains of eastern New Mexico, near the Texas Panhandle. The base is eight miles west of Clovis, New Mexico, and is 4,295 feet above sea level. The base itself sits on 3,789 acres of land.
The Melrose Air Force Range training area, located approximately 25 miles west of the base, is approximately 70,000 acres. Operations on Melrose Range also cover an area of 2,500 square miles of airspace. Melrose is used for training such as air to ground, small arms, and electronic combat.
The history of the base began in the late 1920s, when a civilian passenger facility, Portair Field, was established on the site. Portair, 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.
The war years saw the introduction of heavy bomber training to the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains). Clovis Municipal Airport quickly became Clovis Army Air Field in Sep., 1942. Post-war demobilization saw flying operations nearly cease with the exception of the rare refueling of transient aircraft. By May 28, 1947, Clovis Army Air Field 'closed its doors' as the base was placed on the inactive list. The base, even while closed, remained in the hands of Air Training Command until late July, 1951, when Tactical Air Command obtained it. At that time the 140th Fighter-Bomber Wing, an Air National Guard unit, was activated and stationed at Clovis Air Force Base.
Cannon is named in honor of the late Gen. John K. Cannon, former commander of the Tactical Air Command. The base was officially named Cannon on June 8, 1957.
On Feb. 18, 1959, the recently-renamed Cannon Air Force Base entered into a relationship with the 27th Fighter Wing that continues to this day, albeit, with a new mission--that of special operations. As a result of Cannon's transition from Air Combat Command to Air Force Special Operations Command on Oct.1, 2007, the 27th Fighter Wing was re-designated the 27th Special Operations Wing.
Since 1940, the 27th designation has been assigned to a myriad of locations. The 27th was organized as a fighter wing in August 1947, at Kearney Airfield, Nebraska. Later, in February 1958, in a move to preserve the heritage of the 27th, Air Force leadership transferred the designation to Cannon replacing the 312th Wing, a unit without a significant lineage.
Currently, approximately 5,800 military and civilian personnel make up the work force at Cannon.