KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NM --
Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.
The visit was coordinated through U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Curry, 58th SOW commander, to encourage and maintain the active relationship and open communication between Pueblo leaders, KAFB and New Mexico military organizations.
“We invited the tribal leaders to the 58th SOW in order for us to continue a dialogue about the flying and military activities happening in New Mexico,” said Curry.
During the visit, Pueblo leaders met and attended mission briefings by commanders from the White Sands Missile Range, Cannon AFB, Holloman AFB, the New Mexico Air National Guard, 377th Air Base Wing, and 58th SOW. Pueblo leaders also toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in discussions throughout the day.
“For some, this was the first time they spoke face-to-face,” said Curry. “We want to continue to encourage open communications between the Native American population and the military.”
Curry explained that training and mission objectives require many military flight operations being conducted in airspace over Pueblo lands.
“The 58th SOW is the primary low flyer in the state with our training mission; as such, we use the area surrounding Albuquerque the most,” said Curry.
To accommodate and respect Pueblo’s wishes, the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department maintains a website where Pueblo Governments can request no-fly areas for the military to avoid. Pueblo governments are also encouraged to contact the 377th ABW Public Affairs office or the 58th SOW to request no-fly areas or report any concerns.
“The 58th SOW will continue to reach out to the Pueblos and Native Communities”, said Curry. “We want to continue to be good partners with the local community, and building strong relationships is central to this effort.”