White Sands Missile Range FAQ


Installation Info: Zip Code: 88002, Area Code: 575, DSN: 258

Renowned for opening the atomic age with the first atomic bomb testing in 1945, the historic White Sands Missile Range is in south-central New Mexico in the Tularosa Basin. In the 21st century, White Sands serves as a multi-service test range supporting missile development and test programs for the Army, Navy, Air Force and NASA, among other government agencies and private industry.



The base was established in 1945 as a test launch complex in response to Nazi Germany's rocket advancements. Today, the base's testing facilities are modern and varied, including nuclear environments, weapon systems simulation, guidance and control, propulsion, climatic, microbiological and metallographic. The Las Cruces School District maintains an elementary school on post, with all other schools off post. A small health-care clinic available. The nearest military hospital is Fort Bliss, Texas.



Relocation, support, and child/teen services are available to help newcomers to the base. White Sands is a high-altitude area, part of the Greater Chihuahuan Desert, and thus is subject to flash floods and radical temperature changes. While it is a small, isolated community, the base does offer recreation such as: pool; golf; archery and skeet ranges; tennis; gym; hiking; camping; auto hobby shops; snow skiing; theater; equipment issue; youth center; bowling; softball fields, and racquetball.