The Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range Formerly Used Defense Site, or FUDS, consists of 5,790 acres in Cibola County, New Mexico. The site is located in west-central New Mexico, approximately 90 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 20 miles south-southwest of Grants, New Mexico.
In 1943, the U.S. Army acquired 9 square miles of rugged lava fields in Cibola County to build a demolition bombing range. Pilots from Kirtland Army Air Field in Albuquerque dropped live bombs on the range upon completion of the Army Air Forces bombardier training program. However, Kirtland closed the range after 10 months, because the location and rugged terrain made it impracticable to maintain the targets. In 1947, Kirtland Army Air Field became Kirtland Air Force Base, and the Department of Defense transferred the Demolition Bombing Range to the Bureau of Land Management. In 1987, the land became part of El Malpais National Monument and management transferred to the National Park Service.
Since DOD closed the range, the Army has responded to numerous findings of bombs on or near the former range. In 1994 and 1995, the Army National Guard performed two surface clearances on approximately 4 square miles at the former range. The clearance reports document the identification and destruction of general purpose bombs and fuzes, and note that the rugged terrain will impede the complete removal of munitions hazards.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began investigating the former Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range in 1990 through the FUDS Program. Subsequent investigations have identified munitions debris and munitions and explosives of concern on the former range. The Corps has recently completed a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range. The RI/FS evaluated remedial alternatives to address potential munitions hazards remaining at the site. Immediately following the completion of the RI/FS, a Proposed Plan was developed for the site.
The Proposed Plan provides the details of the RI/FS, evaluations of possible remedial alternatives (remedies) to address munitions that may be remaining at the site, and the Preferred Alternative (remedy) selected for the High Explosive Bombing Range Munitions Response Site at the Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range.
The Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range Administrative Record file is located at the Mother Whiteside Memorial Library in Grants, New Mexico.