Data Sciences Directorate
Materiel Test Directorate
Future Force Division
Manned Tactical Systems Branch
Survivability, Vulnerability and Assessment Directorate
Electromagnetic Effects Division
Electromagnetic Radiation Branch
Office of the Project Manager for Instrumentation Targets and Threat Simulators
Test Center Safety Office
White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is a United States Army rocket range of almost 3,200 square miles (8,300 km2) in parts of five counties in southern New Mexico. The largest military installation in the United States, WSMR includes the Oscura Range and the WSMR Otero Mesa bombing range. WSMR and the 600,000-acre (2,400 km2) McGregor Range Complex at Fort Bliss to the south, form a contiguous swath of territory for military testing.
The first of 300 railroad cars of V-2 rocket components began to arrive at Las Cruces, New Mexico in July 1945 for transfer to WSPG.:246 Launch Area 1 Army blockhouse (Launch Complex 33) was completed in September. In November General Electric employees began to identify, sort, and reassemble V-2 rocket components in Building 1538, designated as Assembly Building 1. German rocket scientists of Operation Paperclip arrived at Fort Bliss in January 1946 to assist the V-2 rocket testing program. After a static test firing of a V-2 engine on 15 March 1946, the first V-2 rocket launch from Launch Complex 33 was on 16 April 1946. Approximately two V-2 launches per month were scheduled from Launch Complex 33 until the German rocket scientists transferred from Fort Bliss to Redstone Arsenal in 1949. Remaining V-2 rockets were launched from Launch Complex 33 on a reduced frequency until 1952. Launch Complex 33 was designated a National Historic Landmark on 3 October 1985. Refurbished Mittelwerk V-2 rocket #FZ04/20919 was returned to the WSMR Museum in May 2004 after being taken to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in September 2002 for restoration.
1941, December: Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range established.
1944, February: Major General Gladeon M Barnes, chief of the Technical Division of the Office of Chief of Ordnance in Washington, sent teams of the War Department and the Ordnance Department of the Corps of Engineers to look for a US site for missile research.:389
^NOTE: The Center for Countermeasures (CCM), founded 1972, is a joint program of the OSD's Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), which is itself a component of the OSD (OSD). The CCM evaluates precision guided munitions and other devices in counter- and counter-countermeasures environments.