I am proud of the role that New Mexico's military installations play in our national defense and of the men and women who bravely serve our country and call New Mexico home. New Mexico's military bases are at the forefront of efforts to keep America safe and I am working in Congress to make sure that the men and women stationed at each have the equipment and infrastructure they need to succeed.
Cannon Air Force Base
On October 1, 2007, Cannon Air Force Base became home to the 27th Special Operations wing. The mission is expected to eventually include 5,000 personnel and their families and more than 100 aircraft dedicated to special operations around the globe. During my ten years as U.S. congressman for the base, I worked to secure and support this mission for Cannon and, as U.S. senator, I plan to help keep Cannon strong. The transition to a Special Operations Mission has included robust funding, which I have supported. In addition, I have pushed for the expansion of Melrose Range and other training areas to ensure that the airmen at Cannon Air Force Base are prepared to carry out their important mission.
Holloman Air Force Base
Holloman Air Force Base is home to the 49th Fighter Wing - two squadrons of mission-ready F-22s. Holloman also recently became the home to the newest unmanned aerial systems formal training unit in the Air Force. This unit will train airmen to remotely pilot the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper, two remotely piloted aircraft vehicles which are becoming increasingly important in our military. Today, I'm working to secure funding which will support the continued operation of the base, as well as the transfer to an F-16 training mission. The future mission will take advantage of New Mexico's unique geography and airspace, as the Air Force trains our future combat pilots.
Kirtland Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base is responsible for multiple missions within the Air Force, including the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, the 58th Special Operations Wing, the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, the Space Development and Test Wing and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Since becoming senator, I've worked to secure funding for Kirtland's multiple missions.
White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) provides important research, development, testing and evaluation for the U.S. military, including missile development, directed energy, and unmanned systems testing. Officials at WSMR work closely with Holloman and Ft. Bliss by sharing local air space, as it is used for WSMR testing, F-22 and UAV flights, and future F-16 training. Coordinating this air use will continue to be a major focus in my work. WSMR is a national treasure, and has a diverse and important mission that I'm confident will continue and thrive.