New Mexico politicos are out to get a mission for Cannon Air Force Base and plan to require the Pentagon to find one by tacking a provision on to the 2006 defense appropriations bill that has yet to pass thru the Senate. Republican Sen. Pete Domenici and Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman told the Associated Press Thursday of their plan. Guess it doesn’t matter that it was the Pentagon that wanted to close Cannon outright. The BRAC commission granted a reprieve—until Dec. 31, 2009—if Cannon can come up with a new mission once its F-16s fly off to roost at other bases. (See DR, 08/26/05.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.