News: WSMR’s rigorous initiative in military progress
Story by Sgt. Jonathan Thomas
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. – The crystalline dunes of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., have caught the eye of many travelers. But it is Soldiers, striving to push the Army’s capabilities further, who make these mounds of mirrored sand synonymous with military ingenuity and progress.
The gypsum-strewn fields of White Sands have been an area attraction since 1933 when the White Sands National Monument was founded.
On July 9, 1945 WSMR’s was officially opened five days later the worlds first atomic bomb was detonated above its white sands, kicking off a continuous effort to test and observe the latest technology.
“One of the things that strikes me about this place is that two events that really changed the course of history happened right here, the first steps into space and the detonation of the first nuclear weapon,” said Darren Court, WSMR Museum director.
White Sands may be known for its two contributions to exploration and military firepower, but its history spans a much greater period of time.
Court said the entire history of White Sands absolutely amazes him, when he looks back the first people who settled this area and the contributions they made to technology and what came from that. He said it has been a constant progression of technology and it is continued today with the Network Integration Evaluation 12.2.
NIE 12.2 focuses on comparing current Army equipment with emerging technology in order to assess the Army’s tactical network.
“I get to talk about the old stuff that happened here in the past, but to be here and to see all of the things that are going on now makes me very proud,” said Court.
WSMR has been a place of innovation since its conception and as the Army strives to enhance its capabilities this rigorous initiative remains intact.
“I’m very proud to be here and be part of this, to see the changes that have occurred is tremendous,” said Court. “Personally I hope we continue to attract people who want to test these cutting edge technologies like NIE.”