WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed an announcement from the U.S. Navy that it will fund a $4.3 million project at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) to support future testing for naval operations. The U.S. Navy was able to secure this funding through a provision Senator Heinrich included in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to revitalize and recapitalize facilities at labs and test ranges. Through this funding, WSMR will build upon the U.S. Navy's Underwater Laboratory Research and Development Test Site at Launch Complex (LC-50) at WSMR.
“White Sands Missile Range is a national treasure for the U.S. military, and its unique terrain, airspace, and expertise cannot be replicated anywhere else in the country," said Senator Heinrich. “This project will enable the Navy to create more jobs during construction and conduct additional future missile tests at WSMR. Through my role on the Armed Services Committee, I will continue to advocate for improving and investing in new infrastructure at WSMR to ensure our military can continue to take full advantage of the facilities and unparalleled testing and training environment New Mexico has to offer.”
Senator Heinrich has led efforts to improve test range capabilities to support the development of next generation weapon systems. During hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Heinrich has expressed concern about the underinvestment in the nation’s test ranges and urged Army leadership for additional resources. In particular, Senator Heinrich accelerated the construction of a major project at White Sands Missile Range, which was the first testing construction project in 18 years.
Last month, Senator Heinrich voted for the fiscal year 2018 NDAA and secured a number of provisions in the bill that benefit New Mexico's military installations, national laboratories, and job creation throughout the state.