Kirtland Air Force Base is a big part of Albuquerque. It's in the southeast part of the city, and adjacent to Albuquerque International Sunport (the airport).
It was born out of three private airfields in the late 1920s, and actual construction was completed in the early 1940s. Before it was named for Col. Roy C. Kirtland, it was known as Albuquerque Army Air Base. During WWII, B-17 and B-24 bombers were trained there. After the war, the base was placed under a different command and took up the task of test flight activities for the Manhattan Engineering District, the same organization that produced the atomic bomb.
In 1973, Kirtland enlarged due to the combining of Kirtland, Manzano, and Sandia bases.
Kirtland is also celebrating its 75th anniversary this year!
It's currently the sixth largest base in the U.S. Air Force, and is known for being home to the Nuclear Weapons Center, and is also home to other well-known research facilities such as Sandia National Laboratories.
Stay tuned for N!