White Sands Missile Range

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White Sands Missile Range logo.jpgWhite Sands Missile Range (1960) [1]
New Mexico Joint Guided Missile Test Range (1947)
White Sands Proving Ground (1945)
Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range (1941) [2]
Part of United States Army Test and Evaluation Command
Located in the San Andreas Mountains, the Oscura Mountains, the San Augustin Mountains, the Tularosa Basin, and the Chupadera Mesa in New Mexico
Tularosa-Basin-NM-USGS-map opaque.gif
Most of the northern Tularosa basin (blue) is used for the WSMR (area within dashed perimeter), which encloses numerous areas that are not military land (e.g., the NPS's White Sands National Monument), as well as USAF facilities.
White Sands Missile Range location.gif
WSMR location
Coordinates 32°20′08″N 106°24′21″W / 32.33556°N 106.40583°W / 32.33556; -106.40583 [3] ( Condron Army Airfield
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE Latitude and Longitude:

32°20′08″N 106°24′21″W / 32.33556°N 106.40583°W / 32.33556; -106.40583 [3] ( Condron Army Airfield
near the southernmost WSMR point)
Site information
Controlled by United States Army
Website www.wsmr.army.mil
Site history
Built 1948-07-09 cantonment completed [4]
1957-02: Launch Complex 37 completed
Built by Ordnance Corps [4]
Garrison information
BG Eric L. Sanchez (2016–) [5]

White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is a United States Army military testing area of almost 3,200 sq mi (8,300 km2) in parts of five counties in southern New Mexico. The largest military installation in the United States, WSMR and the 600,000-acre (2,400 km2) McGregor Range Complex at Fort Bliss to the south (southeast Tularosa Basin and on Otero Mesa [8]) are contiguous areas for military testing. [9]On 9 July 1945, the White Sands Proving Ground was established for testing German and American long range rockets. Just seven days later, the first atomic bomb test, code named Trinity was exploded at Trinity Site, near the north boundary of the range. [10]

The site of the 1945 Trinity explosion became part of WSMR.

National Historic Landmarks

Designated historic sites on WSMR land include:

Current operations

The White Sands Test Center headquartered at the WSMR " Post Area" has branches for Manned Tactical Systems & Electromagnetic Radiation and conducts missile testing and range recovery operations. [17] Other operations on WSMR land include:


  • 1930: Robert Goddard began rocket testing in New Mexico.
  • 1941-04-13: US World War II preparations established [11] the Army Air Base, Alamogordo: [21] 1942 Biggs Army Airfield construction began near El Paso (1947 Biggs AFB, 1973 Biggs AAF)--the region's nearby Deming AAF (14 Dec 1946), Ft Sumner AAF (6 Mar), and South Aux Fid #1 (4 Apr) transferred to "Army Div Engrs" in 1946. [22]
  • 1940s: When the range was formed, ranchers' land was leased and, in the 1970s, taken permanently to expand the area available for testing. [23]

USAAF ranges

White Sands Proving Ground

New Mexico Joint Guided Missile Test Range

White Sands Missile Range

External media
1945 WSPG
196x Big Picture: Tularosa Frontier
Short Notice Annual Practice (minute 16:50)
Countdown at White Sands


White ... Sands ... Missile ... Range ...



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