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Las Cruces lies in the vicinity of three massive military bases, covering an array of military missions. Fort Bliss, Texas, is a large army post and airfield that spreads into New Mexico southeast of Las Cruces. Troops are trained in heavy armor maneuvers and in supply and support missions. Fort Bliss borders America’s test facility, White Sands Missile Range, where numerous companies develop and test missiles and their components. Just beyond White Sands is the 60,000 acre Holloman Air Force Base.

The bases compliment the region’s technology core, and rapid growth at Fort Bliss is helping to offset the economic downturn in this region. Construction is in high gear in anticipation of the troop transfers and spillovers into area housing and other off-base services are expected.

White Sands Missle Range   UNITED STATES ARMY
White Sands Missile Range

Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
White Sands Missile Range
WSMR, NM 88002
(575) 678-1134
White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is a Test and Evaluation Command Installation operated primarily for the support of research, development, test, and evaluation of weapon and space systems, subsystems, and components. WSMR, established in 1945, is the largest all-overland test range in the Western Hemisphere, and is the Department of the Army's (DA) largest installation, covering approximately 2.2 million acres. With the addition of several extension areas, the range can be expanded to nearly four million acres for certain types of testing. WSMR is bordered by Fort Bliss (DA) to the south and by Holloman Air Force Base to the west.
WSMR - Honest John Missle
Holoman Air Force Base   UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
Holloman Air Force Base

Point of Contact:
49th Fighter Wing
Public Affairs Office
490 First St. Ste 2800
Holloman AFB, NM 88330
(575) 572-5406
Holloman Air Force Base was originally established in 1942 as Alamogordo Air Field six miles west of Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was re-named in 1948 after Col. George Holloman, who was a pioneer in early rocket and pilot-less aircraft research. The base supports about 21,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, retirees, DoD civilians and their family members. Personnel from Holloman have participated in numerous operations, such as Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and many more.
Holloman AFB - F22 Raptor
Ft. Bliss Army Base

Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Jean Offutt, Public Affairs Officer
Fort Bliss, TX 79916
Nestled at the base of the rugged Franklin Mountains, Fort Bliss was established in 1848 to support settlers and act as a liaison to the Native American population and the Mexican government, making it one of the oldest Army posts. The mission of Fort Bliss is to provide anti-aircraft and missile defense capabilities. As one of the largest military posts in the continental United States, Fort Bliss is also uniquely suited to conduct live fire exercises of nearly every type of military weapon in the current US Army arsenal.
Ft. Bliss -

  Holloman Air Force Base

The training mission at Holloman Air Force base in Alamogordo is in transition. The base is receiving two squadrons of F-16 fighter jets, the proven backbone of the air force. The F-22 Raptors currently stationed at Holloman are being consolidated at other locations. Training of the F-16 pilots will be combined with training programs for Remotely Piloted Aircraft, which was recently added to the Holloman mission.

From an economic perspective, Holloman supports about 21,000 active duty, guard, reserve, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and their families. With the assignment of the F-16 Squadrons and increased unmanned aircraft capabilities, Holloman will remain a major economic component for the region well into the foreseeable future.

White Sands Missile Range

Sometimes referred to as the “Birthplace of Missile and Space Activity,” White Sands Missile Range is the largest military installation in the United States and has been involved in the testing of almost every weapon system in the U.S. military arsenal. Servicing all the military branches, the missile range provides the facilities for experimenting, testing, research, assessment, development and training on weapons systems. It is also involved with various phases of the NASA space program, to include testing of the new Orion abort and lunar exploration systems.

White Sands now has become home to a contingency of deployable soldiers and will experience some related growth over the next few years. The troops will provide mobility in support of force application or focused logistics.

There are approximately 1755 civilian workers at White Sands Missile Range and another 1614 contractor employees representing companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Impact on the region is estimated at $1.8 million per day.

  Fort Bliss Army Base

With large-scale construction continuing, Fort Bliss is currently accommodating a large influx of troops. The increase of soldiers, families and civilians will account for a 300% growth over 2005 figures. Around $4.6 billion is being spent for new state-of-the-art complexes to provide the combat teams with the best available training and facilities.

Originally established in 1849 for protecting the El Paso area against Apache and Comanche raids, the post moved several times over the years and existed for a brief period under the flag of the Confederate States. The 1700 square mile facility is now transforming into a heavy armor training post with plenty of room for maneuver exercises.

Creating smooth transitions and good first impressions for the soldiers and families involved in this military population explosion requires super human measures. The needs of the rapidly expanding base population include safe and comfortable housing options, child and youth services, medical services, volunteer opportunities, and driver education classes.

Fort Bliss makes an enormous contribution to the economy of Central and Northeast El Paso and certainly a major indirect impact on the entire region. Even though the core of the base is located in El Paso, the majority of the land mass is located in New Mexico.

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