WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to incoming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) urged him to consider White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) as a garrison host for a Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), which could bring close to 500 Army officers to WSMR. Secretary Esper was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon. The delegation delivered the letter on Secretary Esper’s first day on the job.
The delegation outlined that there is an immediate availability of $170 million worth of modern, battalion sized facilities that are vacant at WSMR, citing more than 130,000 square feet of brand new facilities from headquarters, to maintenance bays, a new dining facility and a 134,000-acre maneuver training area with close proximity to the personnel of the 1st Armored Division and Brigade Modernization Command at Ft. Bliss, TX.
“We appreciate Army’s decision to accelerate the establishment and selection of the remaining five SFAB’s. WSMR has a long history of hosting active-duty units, and the state of New Mexico would provide a warm welcome to the Army should it decide to station an SFAB at White Sands. In basing roughly 500 officers and senior noncommissioned officers at WSMR, the Army can take full advantage of the exceptional training capabilities offered at the post while making the best use of taxpayer dollars,” wrote the members.
Members of the delegation met with Dr. Mark Esper this year and provided documentation citing the unique terrain, zero-to-infinity airspace, and expertise at WSMR that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the country. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dr. Esper committed to give full consideration to WSMR and its modern facilities for the SFAB mission.
The letter is available here and below.
November 16, 2017
Hon. Mark Esper
Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310
General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff of the Army
200 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310
- One 17,715 sq. ft. headquarters building with 23 office spaces, five conference rooms, a secure room, vault and elevator.
- Six company headquarters in one 65,969 sq. ft. building. Each company area has a vault, a ready room with over 100 personal equipment lockers, communications and supply storage rooms; along with three shared conference rooms and locker room type latrines/showers.
- One 19,500 sq. ft. battalion level dining facility (DFAC) consisting of two offices, a drive-thru window, dry storage room, and public & crew latrines.
- One vehicle maintenance shop consisting of 34,925 sq. ft., with 14 offices, five bays, a 10T overhead crane, 24x14 ft. doors, one elevator, POL & parts storage, and six 5,775 sq. ft. organizational storage buildings.
- One parade field and a segregated parking lot.
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich
U.S. Representative Steve Pearce
U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján
U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham