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Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kirtland Air Force Base is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the high desert. It was built in 1928 originally as an airfield but later expanded into a full military base. In 1942 the base was named after Colonel Roy C. Kirtland who was the oldest military pilot.

Kirtland has a rich history, it was utilized during World War II to maintenance and refuel military planes as well as train pilots for combat. At this time major expansion happened on the base, more land was added and construction began. Barracks, a hospital, a chapel, a theater, and training facilities were quickly built to meet the needs of the air force.

During the Cold War Kirtland was used to store military planes but also became a very important location for the development and testing of atomic weapons. Fear of a Russian bombing had the base on high alert. Throughout the next several decades Kirtland continued to be a location for weapon development, air force training, and an active base.

Currently, Kirtland AFB has many accomplishments to celebrate. For fifty-one years the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing (AMOS) has been in operation of the largest electro-optical telescope used by the Department of Defense. The Operationally Responsive Space Office has been launching satellites to space for 10 years. Kirtland AFB continues to grow, thrive, and contribute to the military defense of the United States.