White Sands Missile Range Community

Some Things To Know

The nature of WSMR missions can create hazards to employees and visitors.

White Sands Missile Range has been used as an ordnance and explosives test facility since its inception as a proving ground in 1945. Prior to that, some areas of what is now the southern part of the range were used as artillery impact areas by troops training at Fort Bliss.

As a multiservice DOD range, nearly every type of deployable ordnance developed in America since 1945, as well as many items from other countries, has been tested here. Some of these items were deliberately designed to blend in with the terrain, and their presence may not be immediately obvious to a casual observer.

In general, if you see something man-made while on the range, please avoid it. Do not disturb the item or the area immediately surrounding it. If it looks like an ordnance item, report it by calling 575-678-1234.

Unexploded ordnance training is provided for all employees by their organization and to visitors leaving the main post area by their sponsor or escort.

Drivers on and around White Sands Missile Range should be aware of the driving hazards presented by wildlife, in particular, a type of African antelope known as an oryx. Oryx are the most prevalent wildlife hazard to motorists traveling through the range. Other wildlife such as mule deer and pronghorn may be encountered along the roadways as well.


Traffic laws and regulations at White Sands Missile Range are strictly enforced, and safety is emphasized, including IAW New Mexico traffic laws, Army Regulation AR 1905 and WSMR Traffic Regulation 190-5. Violators will stand trial before a U.S. federal magistrate court for violations to traffic laws and regulations. Incidents involving military regulations are referred to unit commanders or section chiefs for action. All vehicles must have a current vehicle registration and current insurance. A valid driver’s license is required for anyone entering and operating on the installation.

Military motorcycle operators have the additional requirements to have completed a motorcycle safety operator’s course, have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license and to wear personal safety equipment. Civilian operators do not require the safety course.

WSMR does not allow concealed or open carry of firearms. WSMR Regulation 215-1 covers the requirements for privately owned weapons storage, transportation and registration. Registration of firearms is conducted at the WSMR Police Station, Police Records section.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones are not authorized to be operated on the WSMR installation or any range areas unless specifically authorized by the WSMR Commander or his designated representative.


Visitors to the White Sands Missile Range main post must stop at the Visitor Control Center outside the Las Cruces Gate or at the El Paso Gate to get a visitor pass. Current Army Policy requires that all personnel over the age 18 submit to and pass the required National Crime Information Center – Interstate Identification Index (NCIC-III) background check prior to being granted access. The driver of the vehicle must show a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. If driving a rental car, the rental paperwork is shown in lieu of vehicle registration. For more information, call the Visitor Center at 575-678-1099 or 575-678-5605.

If visiting other than the WSMR Museum, visitors must have WSMR point of contact information to include name and a WSMR phone number to verify contact before visitor’s entry onto the installation is authorized. Foreign nationals must make prior arrangements with the foreign disclosure officer (FDO) (575-679-6353) prior to obtaining a visitor pass. Once approved by the FDO, further arrangements will be made with DES Physical Security Office at 575-678-7626. See instructions in the “Foreign National Visitors” section.


Security is taken seriously at WSMR. All vehicles entering the White Sands Missile Range are subject to search. For access, one must establish an official need to enter the range and possess the proper identification documents. Non-CAC card holders must obtain a pass at the Visitor Control Center at the Las Cruces Gate. If access to classified defense information is required, personnel must be properly identified and must have security clearances certified by their respective security office. All visitors 16 years and older must have an official government-issued identification with photo.


Personnel requiring access to security areas must be properly identified and will be authorized access on a need-to-know basis in performance of official duties. Personnel requiring access to security areas without proper WSMR identification must be escorted by an authorized employee at all times.


The FDO is responsible for properly handling official activities involving foreign nationals. All official foreign contacts with the Army must be requested by diplomatically accredited military attaches on behalf of their government.

All official visits by foreign nationals to WSMR and official contact with U.S. government representatives require advance notification and approval by the FDO. After receiving the visit request, the FDO will staff it through the proper authorities for final approval.

Call the WSMR FDO at 575-679-6353 for advice and to receive the procedures on specific situations that may involve foreign nationals, governments or international organizations.


Personal photography on White Sands Missile Range is prohibited except in the following areas of the main cantonment, Stallion cantonment, special events and general public big game/restricted access hunts. Areas generally open to the public: WSMR Museum/Missile Park, Frontier Club, bowling center, Bell Gym, Desert Emerald Green Recreation Area, Organ Mountains Parade Field, Volunteer Park, athletic fields, Youth Services facility vicinity, day care center (with acknowledgement from staff), Post Exchange, Post Theater, Post Chapel and Sierra Chapel, White Sands Elementary and Middle School and the skeet range. DFMWR events held at the Small Arms Range area, unit/organizational training events at the Small Arms Range area and within the main cantonment, ceremonies and special events that include Thanks Team WSMR Day, Organization Day, Trinity Site Open House, the Bataan Memorial Death March, and athletic and sporting events.

Photography for office, organizational functions or socials in the workplace are permitted, however caution should be exercised, and photographs should NOT include For Official Use displays, maps and computer monitor screens. Final approval for these types of events resides with the organizational Commander of Director.

White Sands Missile Range Installation Hunting Program permits hunters to take limited still photography during General Public Big Game hunts and during Restricted Access. Photography is limited to photographs of hunters, guests and their respective harvested animals. Photography of general landscapes, wildlife or manufactured features is PROHIBITED. WSMR officials have the authority to review all photographs and will delete or confiscate any that are deemed sensitive.

All other areas require official photo permits. All photography/video requests will be transmitted electronically to the Visual Information Branch at 575-678-1100 for review and approval. Photography of other missile range areas is strictly limited to authorized official photographers.

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