The Army will station a 143-soldier air defense artillery test detachment at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M., Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced this week.
Heinrich has focused on bringing an active-duty presence to White Sands to “take full advantage of the facilities and unparalleled testing and training environment New Mexico has to offer,” according to a news release.
“At a time when Army installations across the country are facing reductions, adding a new mission to White Sands is a big deal. I am pleased we secured this new mission and I will continue to advocate for a larger active-duty presence at WSMR,” he said.
The new unit is expected to reach its full troop strength beginning in 2018, reported Stars and Stripes. The soldiers will come from various units across the Army, according to range officials.
In promoting the missile range to Army leadership, Heinrich has cited the significant new infrastructure built there, including space for headquarters, maintenance bays and a dining facility.