Skip directly to content

New Mexico Delegation Calls On New Army Secretary To Bring Active Duty Mission To WSMR

on November 19, 2017 - 6:17am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  In a letter to incoming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) urged him to consider White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) as a garrison host for a Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), which could bring close to 500 Army officers to WSMR.
Secretary Esper was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon. The delegation delivered the letter on Secretary Esper’s first day on the job.
The delegation outlined that there is an immediate availability of $170 million worth of modern, battalion sized facilities that are vacant at WSMR, citing more than 130,000 square feet of brand new facilities from headquarters, to maintenance bays, a new dining facility and a 134,000-acre maneuver training area with close proximity to the personnel of the 1st Armored Division and Brigade Modernization Command at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
“We appreciate Army’s decision to accelerate the establishment and selection of the remaining five SFAB’s. WSMR has a long history of hosting active-duty units, and the state of New Mexico would provide a warm welcome to the Army should it decide to station an SFAB at White Sands. In basing roughly 500 officers and senior noncommissioned officers at WSMR, the Army can take full advantage of the exceptional training capabilities offered at the post while making the best use of taxpayer dollars,” wrote the members.
Members of the delegation met with Dr. Mark Esper this year and provided documentation citing the unique terrain, zero-to-infinity airspace, and expertise at WSMR that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the country. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dr. Esper committed to give full consideration to WSMR and its modern facilities for the SFAB mission.
The letter is available here.