KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico — Airmen recently had the opportunity to visit the 4 Daughters Ranch and try their skills as ranch hands.
The ranch, owned and operated by Mike Mechenbier, the 58th Special Operations Wing’s honorary commander, gave the Airmen the opportunity to administer shots, clip ears, and brand three-month-old calves.
“This was an incredible experience; there’s certainly a lot more to being a Cowboy then riding a horse, the belt buckles, boots and a really nice Stetson hat,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Almeria, 58th Maintenance Operations Flight superintendent. “It gave me a great appreciation for the incredible amount of work that goes into tending to a herd and raising cattle.”
For Mechenbier, this event further nurtured the relationship between his ranch and the base.
“Years ago it was pretty contentious; you guys were the airplanes in the air and we were the cowboys on the ground, but now our relationship has done a 180,” Mechenbier said. “I appreciate everyone taking the time to come out here and see what we do.”
After the work was done, Mechenbier provided lunch and openly discussed his land, the work it takes to keep it running and his relationship with Kirtland AFB.
“I think [the world] of the service men and women that are protecting the nation and make it possible for me to have this land,” said Mechenbier. “I respect and appreciate each and everyone one of them and their service.”
The day wrapped up with a hike on Mechenbier’s mountain and an invitation for him to visit the base.
Mechenbier is one of the largest land owners in New Mexico and a majority of the 58th SOW’s training landing zones are located on his land.