Cannon AFB was originally set up in the aftermath of World War II as a training base for fighter aircraft. This mission remained relatively unchanged until 2005 when the base was placed on the BRAC list. Instead of closing the base, however, Congress decided to leave the base open and use it as the new western base for AFSOC.
Holloman AFB has all the amenities of a full community. Entertainment and recreation is readily available in the neighboring towns. The partnership between airmen and civilians has been amazing. Back in 1942, Holloman Air Force Base was founded as the Alamogordo Air Field. In honor of Col. George V. Holloman, a forerunner in the research of guided missiles, the base was renamed after him. The world’s fastest and longest high speed track test was conducted in Holloman.
Kirtland AFB is the product of three private airfields. In 1928, two runways formed Albuquerque Airport. Another airport by the same name was later created, so the original Albuquerque Airport was named Oxnard Field.
In 1939, the Army and Navy started using Oxnard Field for military flights. The Army acquired some land near Albuquerque Airport and eventually acquired Oxnard Field. In 1941, Albuquerque Army Air Base was constructed. The attack on Pearl Harbor generated a huge boost in activity on the base, and the base trained many crews for World War II.
Its history is part of the U.S. original missile and space activity, and the introduction of the atomic age. The first atomic bomb was tested here, exploding and testing the world’s first atomic bomb and collecting valuable information with the results.
Today visitors will find a display of missiles and rockets previously tested at the range, which were eventually used to protect our nation. The original plans for the range started in 1944 and finished in 1945 with General G.M. Barnes contributing to establishing the missile range.
New Mexico is a state with a lot of undeveloped, rural area. Many military bases in New Mexico are located in remote parts of the state so that this land can be used for training and test ranges. Of course, this means that many military members must live in these remote areas.
Unfortunately, the school system in New Mexico has some of the lowest ranked schools in the country. While it is possible to find good school in urban areas such as Albuquerque.
Health care services are very limited, and many military members have reported struggling to find specialists around bases located in rural areas. While Tricare will reimburse members to travel to these specialists, wait times can last three months or more.
Job opportunities at many rural bases are limited to basic retail, some healthcare, and positions offered on base. Most areas are dedicated to agriculture with very little manufacturing or high-tech industry. Fortunately, the cost of living in the state is relatively low.
Because of its proximity to many farms, groceries are relatively cheap. Housing is comparable with the rest of the nation, but several bases with rapid growth over the past several years have very high rental prices.