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Cannon, Holloman OK base access for retirees

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — While it may be the end of the month before retirees are allowed back at Kirtland Air Force Base because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, that is not the case with other Air Force installations in New Mexico.

Retirees were given limited access at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis this week. And beginning next Wednesday, June 17, all Department of Defense ID card holders, including retirees, will be allowed full access to Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, according to a news release.

Retirees at Cannon Air Force Base are allowed access to the commissary, base exchange and medical facilities, according to a post on the installation’s Facebook page.

They will be allowed on base from 1-4 p.m. daily. They will be asked to wear masks or face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Retirees and other DOD ID card holders at Holloman will have access to the base exchange, commissary and gas station, the release says.

Those entering the base will continue to be screened to see if they have tested positive for COVID-19, been in contact with someone who has tested positive or have traveled outside of New Mexico in the past 14 days.

They will also be asked to wear masks or face coverings when shopping and to maintain social distancing.

“Our retirees for example are a vital part of our community,” said Col. Ryan Keeney, 49th Wing commander, in the release. “We are thrilled that the current data supports us getting them back on base, and re-starting more of the services our local community depends on.”

Restrictions are tighter at Cannon, with social gatherings of 10 or more forbidden. Travel for military and DOD personnel is still restricted to a 250-mile radius from the base.

Kirtland has a larger retiree population than the other two bases. There are about 27,000 military retirees in the Albuquerque metro area. The base is using a phased-in approach with five two-week increments. Barring outbreaks in or near the base, phase three will begin next week. Retirees are expected to be among those allowed on base during the fourth and fifth phases of the reopening.

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