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NM Pueblo tribal members visit 58th SOW

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

New Mexico Pueblo leaders and service members pose for a group photo at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During their visit to the 58th Special Operations Wing, Pueblo leaders met with from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

Mark Thompson, from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, views an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Holloman AFB, N.M. during a visit to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During the visit, Pueblo leaders met with commanders from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

Michael Chinana, Pueblo of Jemez 1st Lieutenant Governor, views an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Holloman AFB, N.M. during a visit to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During the visit, Pueblo leaders met with commanders from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Curry, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, briefs New Mexico Pueblo leaders visiting the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During the visit, Pueblo leaders met with commanders from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

New Mexico Pueblo leaders tour a C-130 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During the visit, briefs Pueblo leaders met with commanders from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

Vernon Abeita, Pueblo of Isleta Governor, poses in a UH-1 during a visit to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During the visit, Pueblo leaders met with commanders from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

Various New Mexico Pueblo tribal members visited the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 15, 2021.

U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Keeney, 49th Wing commander, briefs New Mexico Pueblo leaders visiting the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 15, 2021. During the visit, Pueblo leaders met with commanders from other N.M. Air Force and Army Installations, attended mission briefings, toured aircraft and aircraft simulators, and engaged in open discussions throughout the day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Karissa Dick)

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.”