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Safety is a Priority

Follow the 3Rs of Explosives Safety
if you suspect you may have come
across a military munition.
Recognize – when you may have
encountered a munition, and that
munitions are dangerous.
Retreat – do not approach, touch,
move, or disturb a suspect munition,
but carefully leave the area.
Report – call 911 and advise the
police of what you saw and where
you saw it.

Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range

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 of Engineers is currently conducting a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study to determine the extent of munitions hazards that may remain on the site and to evaluate potential remedial alternatives for the former Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range.

Contact Information

For more information about the Kirtland Demolition Bombing Range, please call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District Public Affairs Office at 213-452-3921.

To learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ FUDS Program, please click here.