White Sands Missile Range

For the geography and ecology of the WSMR area, see White Sands, New Mexico and Basin and Range Province.
White 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

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.

WSMR location
Coordinates 32°20′08″N 106°24′21″W / 32.33556°N 106.40583°W / 32.33556; -106.40583[3] (Condron Army AirfieldCoordinates: 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

1948-07-09 cantonment completed[4]

1957-02: Launch Complex 37 completed
Built by Ordnance Corps[4]
Garrison information
BG Timothy Coffin (2014–)[5]
  • BG John G. Ferrari (2011–12)
  • BG David L. Mann (2008–09)
  • BG Richard L. McCabe (2007–08)[6]
  • MG Gwen Bingham (2012–)[7]

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:


USAAF ranges

White Sands Proving Ground

For additional events (e.g., USAF launches) at sites not on WSPG but that later became part of WSMR, see Air Force Missile Development Center.

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

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to White Sands Missile Range.


  1. http://www.nps.gov/archive/whsa/adhi/adhi5d.htm
  2. 1 2 "Chapter Four: Global War at White Sands 1940–1945". White Sands Administrative History. National Park Service. Retrieved 7 October 2008. Executive Order No. 9029
  3. 1 2 3 "Condron Army Airfield (2444053)". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2014-05-28. (Doña Ana county--entered in the GNIS on 20 Mar 2011)
  4. 1 2 "Development of the Corporal: the embryo of the army missile program" (PDF). Army Ballistic Missile Agency. April 1961. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009.
  5. "WSMR Official Website: Commanding General White Sands Missile Range". U.S. Army, WSMR Operator. January 14, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  6. "WSMR Official Website, Leadership Page".
  7. "White Sands Commander Gwen Bingham promoted to major general", Steve Ramirez, lcsun-news.com, 20 March 2013
  8. http://fronteralandalliance.org/castner/media/ICRMP.pdf "This report inventoried and evaluated 150 Cold War era properties constructed between 1956 and 1961 at Orogrande Range Doña Ana Range, McGregor Range, North McGregor Range, and Meyer Target Range in New Mexico."
  9. Rubenson, David; Robert Everson, Jorge Munoz (Arroyo Center); Robert Weissler (RAND Corporation) (1998). McGregor Renewal and the Current Air Defense Mission. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8330-2669-9. Retrieved 15 September 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  10. SpacePorting Part III: US Spaceports
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "A Brief History of White Sands Proving Ground 1941–1965" (PDF). New Mexico State University. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  12. Greenwood, Richard (14 January 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Trinity Site" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-21. and Accompanying 10 photos, from 1974. (3.37 MB)
  13. "Trinity Site". National Historic Landmarks. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
  14. National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  15. "White Sands V-2 Launching Site". Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  16. Works by White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office at Project Gutenberg
  17. "Time Magazine, "Recovery at White Sands"". 29 June 1962.
  18. http://www.arl.army.mil/www/pages/45/VG_WSMR.PDF
  19. http://www.wsmr.army.mil/pao/FactSheets/hfame.htm
  20. http://www.ccm.osd.mil
  21. http://www.450thbg.com/real/history/june43.shtml
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mueller (1982). "Holloman Air Force Base". Air Force Bases as of 1982 (Report).
  23. Gibbs, Jason (19 July 2014). "WSMR, DOD may take control of range's Northern Extension Area". Las Cruces Sun-News. The Las Cruces Sun-News. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  24. 1 2 Ordway, Frederick I, III; Sharpe, Mitchell R (1979). The Rocket Team. Apogee Books Space Series. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell. pp. 290, 389. ISBN 1-894959-00-0.
  25. 1 2 3 Ley, Willy (1958) [1944]. Rockets, Missiles and Space Travel (revised ed.). New York: The Viking Press. pp. 246, 253.
  26. Bluth, John. "Von Karman, Malina laid the groundwork for the future JPL". JPL.
  27. Hamilton, John A. Blazing skies: Air Defense Artillery on Fort Bliss, 1940-2009 ("Google eBook" of Government Printing Office document). Retrieved 2014-05-29. Special Orders No. 143, Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, dated July 6, 1946, [established] the Antiaircraft and Guided Missile Center [from] the remnants of the Antiaircraft Artillery School, the Antiaircraft Replacement Training Center, Army Ground Forces Board No. 4,13 1st AAA Guided Missile Battalion, the 1852nd Area Service Unit, and remaining antiaircraft units, including three automatic weapons battalions and one gun battalion placed in the Army General Reserve.
  28. McCleskey, C.; D. Christensen. "Dr. Kurt H. Debus: Launching a Vision" (pdf). p. 35. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  29. Upper Air Rocket Summary: V-2 No. 4 (PDF) (Report). 29 May 1946. Retrieved 2014-05-23. General Electric Company provided gyros, mixer-computers, wiring, servo motors, and propellant piping to replace those German parts that had deteriorated with age. (also available at PostWarV2.com)
  30. Hamilton, John A. Blazing skies: Air Defense Artillery on Fort Bliss, 1940-2009. Government Printing Office. three officers and fifty-five enlisted men...worked closely with the German rocket scientists who were located in a six-acre ordnance area on the north side of the Fort Bliss cantonment. [The military unit went to WSPG] to provide the manpower to build the [V-2] missiles and erect them on test stands.
  31. http://www.cecer.army.mil/techreports/ERDC-CERL_SR-06-53/ERDC-CERL_SR-06-53.pdf
  32. Integration of the Holloman-White Sands Ranges, 1947-1952 (2nd Edition, 1957)
  33. Mueller (1982). "Holloman Air Force Base". Air Force Bases as of 1982 (Report). p. 248.
  34. Bushnell, David (1986-08-25). GAPA: Holloman's First Missile Program (Scribd.com image) (Report). Air Force Missile Development Center: Historical Branch. IRIS 00169113. Retrieved 2013-08-11. [1st ramjet GAPA] "was launched 14 November 1947 and the initial liquid-fuel variety 12 March 1948.8... The last of the GAPAs, number 114, was launched 15 August 1950, and the project officially terminated at Holloman the following month.11 (date identified at http://airforcehistoryindex.org/data/000/169/113.xml)]
  35. http://nmsua.edu/tiopete/files/2008/12/wspgcoldbook.pdf
  36. http://spacemedicineassociation.org/timeline/1941-1948/History%20of%20Holloman%20AFB%20Space%20Biology%20.pdf test installation
  37. Kennedy, Gregory P. (1983). Vengeance Weapon 2: The V-2 Guided Missile. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 62.
  38. Egermeier, Robert P. (September 2001). "Former "Broomstick Scientist"". Aerospace America: 7.
  39. Koppenshaver, James T. (30 January 1951). "Broomstick Sweepings" (PDF). Wind and Sand. pp. 1, 6. Retrieved 2014-05-27. late 1950…Fort White Sands…early in 1951
  40. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19520528&id=dfspAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zSMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3113,6435119
  41. http://www.wsmrhistoric.com/files/1957%20Wind%20and%20Sand%20V7%20Issue%2044.pdf
  42. Leonard, Barry (c. 1986). History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II: 1956-1972 (Army.mil PDF -- also available at Google Books). Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  43. Piland, Doyle. "Way Back When....." (PDF). WSMR newsletter. Retrieved 2014-04-11. Launch Complex 38...Site preparation for the TTR [Target Tracking Radar] began in July 1959.... Site preparation for the Discrimination Radar was started in January 1961.
  44. Site Plan: Nike Zeus Facilities ALA 5 (Map). reproduced in WSMR newsletter: Federal Government of the United States.
  45. "New Device Will Plot All Planes". Alton Evening Telegraph. 20 August 1959. p. 29. Iconorama shows almost instantly the positions of aircraft thousands of miles away… Traces made by the planes being tracked are scribed on a coated slide by a moving stylus. … The slide plot measures only one inch square, yet overall error of the projected display is said to be about one part in 1,000. … Iconorama units already have been installed and operated at the Pacific Missile Range, Point Mugu Calif.; the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; the Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and the Naval Research Laboratory
  46. (5 June 1963) Kennedy visit leaves lasting impression at WSMR
  47. Conduct Of Redstone Annual Service Practice At White Sands Missile Range New Mexico (Standing Operating Procedure), Fort Sill: Headquarters, United States Army Artillery And Missile Center (the Artillery and Missile Center at Ft Sill was redesignated the Field Artillery Center in 1969.)
  48. http://nikemissile.org/ResearchAndDevelopment/pg16.shtml
  49. "WSTF Community". NASA.
  50. "Part I. History of ABM Development" (transcript at AlternateWars.com). Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  51. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1893&dat=19670602
  52. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-81/pdf/STATUTE-81-Pg279.pdf "Two Rock Ranch Station, California: Supply facilities, $174,000."
  53. Hoihjelle, Donald L. (February 1972). AN/FPS-16(AX) Radar Modeling and Computer Simulation (Report). WSMR Instrumentation Directorate.
  54. "The Story of SIMTEL20". Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  55. "SAVE SIMTEL20!". Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  56. "article". Aerospace America: B6. October 2004.
  57. "NASA Building Test Pad at White Sands for New Spacecraft". redOrbit. 3 February 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  58. NASA: Constellation Mission Project, Research, and Test Sites Overview
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.