You can visit
and the ranch house
where scientists used to assemble the plutonium core. At the site, you
can take a quarter-mile walk to Ground Zero, where a 12 foot lava rock
obelisk marks the spot where on the north end of what's now White Sands
Missile Range the first atomic bomb exploded.
In 1975, the National Park services
designated Trinity Site a National Historic Landmark.
Historical photos are mounted on
fences near the area. And here is a picture of the obelisk:
After the walk, you can ride a WSMR
shuttle bus (no charge) two miles to the Schmidt/McDonald ranch house where the
scientists assembled the plutonium core
of the bomb.
Trinity Site is located on the Jornada del Muerto, west of the San Andres
Mountains at the northern end of White Sands Missile Range, about 150
miles north of Las Cruces.
Here is the map:
MAP: TRINITY SITE
It is possible to visit Trinity Site once a
year. The site is open to the public the first Saturday in April. There is no charge for the tour and no
reservations are necessary. It is more of an open house event rather
than a guided tour.
All adults must show a photo ID when
entering the missile range. All vehicles are subject to search and
should be carrying proof of insurance and current registration papers.
There are no ceremonies or speakers at the site. Usually, food and
souvenirs are sold at the site.
Once a year, you can participate in the
Bataan Memorial Death March. It is is conducted to commemorate the
American and Filipino prisoners of war who, during World War II, were
forced by the Japanese to march across the Bataan Peninsula in the
Philippines in 1942.
On Sunday, March 27, 2011, the event
had more than 6,000 participants. Among them 16 survivors of the April
9, 1942 march.
January 16, 2013 - White Sands Missile
Range gets solar panels. From the Associated Press we learn that this is
the largest of the military
branch’s solar photovoltaic systems.
The $16.8 million array
includes nearly 15,500 sun-tracking solar panels spread across
42 acres. It will be capable of producing 10 million
kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which is enough to meet
about 10 percent of the missile range’s needs.
Photovoltaic Systems, or PV Systems:
AP Photo/U.S. Army)
October-Mid-November 2011 - NIE 12.1
June-July 2011 - NIE 11.2 takes place.
NIE stands for Network Integration Evaluation.
April 18, 2011 - AP reports:
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE,
N.M. — Some 150 soldiers from an Army battalion based in New
Mexico are home from Afghanistan.
The soldiers from the 2nd Engineer Battalion returned to White
Sands Missile Range about 2 a.m. Sunday after a deployment of
about a year.
Forty-nine members of the battalion returned earlier, and
officials say a welcome home ceremony will wait until all of the
soldiers who were deployed at back at the southern New Mexico
Two soldiers from the battalion were killed in Afghanistan.
On Feb. 8, 32-year-old Spec. Nathan Carse of Harrod, Ohio, was
killed in Kandahar province when insurgents attacked his patrol
unit with an improvised explosive device.
Last October, 27-year-old Sgt. Brian Pedro of Rosamond, Calif.,
died in Pol-e-Khumri when insurgents attacked with small-arms
fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
June 13, 2009 - It also works the other
way around. Today, Boeing and US Air Force have successfully tested a
high-energy laser used while in flight. The aircraft took off from
Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, flew down to southern NM, and
zapped a target located on the ground at White Sands Missile Range.
The general advantage of using laser is
its ultra-precision. Gary Fitzmire is very much exited and hopes that it
will dramatically reduce collateral damage.
January 26, 2009 - During tests in
December 2008, a Boeing Laser Avenger shoots down an unmanned aerial
vehicle (UAV). For the first time a combat vehicle has used a laser to
shoot down a UAV.
"Small UAVs armed with explosives or
equipped with surveillance sensors are a growing threat on the
battlefield," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of
Boeing Directed Energy Systems. "Laser Avenger, unlike a conventional
weapon, can fire its laser beam without creating missile exhaust or gun
flashes that would reveal its position. As a result, Laser Avenger can
neutralize these UAV threats while keeping our troops safe."
November 10, 2008 - White Sands Missile
Range has activated the 2nd Engineering Battalion. Lieutenant Colonel
Christopher Benson heads the battalion and its 200 soldiers at the
southern New Mexico missile range.
October 1, 2008 - Army.mil news
release: Army Announces Changes to Forces at White Sands Missile Range
These actions represent an increase of
719 military authorizations with no change to present civilian
authorizations at White Sands Missile Range. These stationing actions
will be completed by Oct, 14, 2012.
The activation and relocation of these units is in support of integrated
force structure changes resulting from the President's "Grow the Army"
initiative. These units execute mobility, counter mobility,
survivability tasks, and provide general engineering missions in support
of maneuver and support brigades to enable a tailored force package to
be applied to a specific mission group, focused logistics and a
constructive force protection.
September 17, 2008 -
Japan's military is playing at White Sands. You heard right.
Lockheed Martin and Airmen of the
Japanese Self Defense Force successfully supported the first
international PAC-3 Missile flight test today at White Sands Missile
Range, NM. The test was an engagement against a tactical ballistic
missile (TBM) target, which was intercepted and destroyed by a PAC-3
Missile delivered to the Japan Self Defense Force.
In 1998, North Korea sent a ballistic
missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. In 2008, North Korea is
busy testing new missile engines, which makes Japan a bit nervous and ready for some ground to air missile intercepting.
invited Japan's military to test their PAC-3 equipment at White Sands,
which they did today.
A mock missile was intercepted from a
distance of 75 miles or 120km. "The PAC-3 Missile provides combat
proven hit-to-kill technology to protect the Warfighter with continued
lethality overmatch against technologically advanced threats on today's
battlefield," said Mike Trotsky, vice president - Air & Missile Defense
Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We are
particularly proud to celebrate the first FMS PAC-3 Missile test with
our Japanese allies."
After dropping the bomb, the
least we could do.
The flight test was conducted by Patriot Japan Air Self Defense Force.
The test demonstrated the Patriot Configuration-3 upgrades to Japanese
Patriot ground system, and the addition of the PAC-3 Missile Segment to
detect, track, engage and destroy a TBM target in a realistic
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas, is prime
contractor on the PAC-3 Missile Segment upgrade to the Patriot air
August 8, 2008
Thomas Berard, executive director of White Sands Missile Range since
2005, is going to switch to another desk at the Air Force Flight Test
Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California in October.
August 7, 2008
Lockheed Martin has successfully completed testing of a key propulsion
system component for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Multiple Kill
Vehicle-L (MKV-L) payload. The divert thruster -- a component of the MKV-L
carrier vehicle’s divert and attitude control subsystem -- met
performance requirements in a series of static, hot-fire tests at the
White Sands Test Facility.
July 12, 2008
Japan will conduct its first test-firing of a land-to-air missile
interceptor in the United States in September to ensure that a missile
shield for the Japanese capital will function properly if it falls under
attack, the Defense Ministry said.
The PAC-3 Patriot interceptor will be fired at White Sands Missile Range
during the week of Sept. 15.
TESTING OF THE PATRIOT ADVANCED CAPABILITY MISSILE AT WHITE SANDS
June 24, 2008
The Navy was busy today, testing their new power tool, the Standard
Missile 6, at White Sands Missile Range.
June 2, 2088
Arrival of the F-22A Raptor Jets. If you wanna see the pilots' eyeballs
more closely check out
the official Holloman Air Force Base Site.
Amazing stuff. And now the noise makes sense as well. These guys are
travelling at Mach 1.5, which translates to about 1,000 mph. It is
rumored that eventually 40 Raptors will be stationed at Holloman. Let's
embrace the sonic boom. By the way, complaints and reports of damage can
be called in to the air force base public affairs office. Substantiated
claims can be filed for reimbursement.
March 30, 2008
19th annual Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range -
Here comes the military.com article:
Wounded Warriors led an all-time record
of more than 4,400 marchers at the start of the 19th annual Bataan
Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range March 30.
A total of 28 Wounded Warriors who served in Vietnam, Afghanistan and
Iraq participated in the annual march, which honors a special group of
On April 9, 1942, about 75,000 Filipino and U.S. Soldiers were
surrendered to the Japanese forces. The Americans were Army, Army Air
Corps, Navy and Marines. Among those seized were members of the 200th
Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard.
The prisoners were forced to march about 100 kilometers north to Nueva
Ecija to Camp O'Donnell, a prison camp, in the scorching heat through
the Philippine jungles.
Prisoners of war were beaten randomly and denied food and water for
several days. Those who fell behind were executed. Thousands died. Those
who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. Others were
wounded or killed when U.S. air and naval forces sank unmarked enemy
ships transporting prisoners of war to Japan.
March 4, 2008
If you're into sonic booms check Holloman AFB's info released beginning
of March 2008.
Sonic Booms in local flying area
By Lt Col Linda Haseloff
Holloman AFB Public Affairs
Residents in the communities surrounding Holloman Air Force Base may
notice a periodic sonic boom starting now through the end of April in
preparation for the F-22 arrival. Holloman AFB is expecting its first
two F-22 aircraft in June 2008.
The 49th Fighter Wing has developed a plan using T-38 aircraft to
conduct supersonic flights to familiarize the local communities to sonic
boom noise caused by supersonic flights. During the month of March, the
T-38s will be flying three supersonic flights a week over Alamogordo,
Tularosa, and Carrizozo. During the month of April, supersonic flights
will begin over Cloud Croft and Ruidoso.
A sonic boom is an impulsive noise similar to thunder. It is caused by
an object moving faster than sound, about 750 miles per hour at sea
level. An aircraft traveling through the atmosphere continuously
produces air-pressure waves similar to the water waves caused by a
ship's bow. When the aircraft exceeds the speed of sound, these pressure
waves combine and form shock waves which travel forward from the
generation or "release" point thus creating the loud noise.
Flying tactics of the F-22 will cause an increase in the number of sonic
booms heard in the local flying area. The Raptor’s balanced design of
maneuverable stealth, supercruise, and integrated avionics, allow it to
go in virtually unnoticed and take out high-value targets both in the
air and on the ground.
The F-22 gives us the ability to dominate in the air. Dominance in the
air enables everything else that we do -- on land, at sea, or in the
If you have any questions on the sonic boom flights, contact the 49 FW
Public Affairs office at 575-572-7406.
August 12, 2007 - Latest Addition
to Hall of Fame.
The White Sands Missile Range Hall of Fame was established in 1980.
The highest honor these guys can bestow on you is to make you a
And that's exactly what will
happen to Joaquin Provencio on August 30. Mr Provencio joined the
range in 1951 as a security guard and retired in 1985 as deputy
director of security. He now lives in Las Cruces. Congrats to Jo and
check out who else is a member of the Hall of
May 3, 2007 -
More troops and money to come.
An Army combat engineer battalion, with as many as 750 soldiers,
will be moving to White Sands Missile Range either next year or in
Currently, there are about a 400 military personnel — including
Army, Navy and Air Force — at WSMR.
Army officials are also thinking about relocating a brigade combat
team to WSMR. That could mean another 3,500 soldiers could be
The Army has budgeted $71 million in military construction funding
to adequately support the battalion at WSMR. The funding would be
used to build barracks, a dining facility, and equipment maintenance
The $71 million would be included in the Army's 2008 fiscal year
budget, which begins Oct. 1. Additional military construction
funding would likely be made available in future years as needs for
the battalion either changed or increased.
RICHARD L. MCCABE
March 24, 2007 - Army Brig. Gen. Richard L. McCabe has been
appointed as commanding general of White Sands Missile Range,
starting his job in August 2007.
McCabe becomes the 27th military commander at WSMR. McCabe is
currently in Saudi Arabia where he is serving as program manager for
the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program.
He is a former commanding general of the 32nd Army Air Missile
Defense Command, at Fort Bliss, Texas. McCabe is expected to
complete his assignment in Saudi Arabia in late August.
White Sands Missile Range has been
without an Army officer in command the past 16 months, since Dec. 1,
2005 when former commander Brig. Gen. Robert J. Reese retired.
Thomas Berard, the highest-ranking civilian at White Sands, has been
serving as director of the Army test and evaluation facility since
Reese's retirement. Berard is the first civilian to guide WSMR since
it was established in 1945.
January 2007 - Hunter-Viper Strike system tested at the Range.
This picture below was taken in December 2006. The Range
is pretty active, it seems. (Mobile phone picture. Never mind the low
ACTION AT WHITE SANDS
To the best of our knowledge all
information is current. If you should discover any errors, however,
please let us know. Thanks!