White Sands Missile Range and community leaders came out to break ground during a ceremony Aug. 24 to start construction of the new state of the art Information Systems Facility at WSMR, which will handle all of the networking and communications on post.
The facility will replace the existing telephone and administrative network core facility, which was built in 1962. The ISF will be equipped with state of the art unclassified and classified data processing and high capacity storage, networks and network operation centers (NOC) for the administrative networks, Land Mobile Radio control for test mission and installation-wide communication/network services with high-efficiency equipment to meet energy requirements, and the Help Desk for administrative IT issues on WSMR.
“Without question this facility is a long time coming,” said WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Little. “It is absolutely necessary for the modernization of White Sands Test Center, our test and evaluation community and this range as a whole. A lot of support and effort went into the funding of this facility.”
The project, which was originally scheduled to begin May 2019, was halted during Congressional discussions on funding for the border wall. In June 2020 WSMR was notified that the funding was available again.
“We celebrate a huge victory with this facility today,” Little said. “At the same time, we have a responsibility to pursue resources and prioritize efforts towards the continued modernization of White Sands Missile Range. We must do this to remain relevant as the Army’s premier test and evaluation range.”
Ashley Beyer, field representative for U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), made comments on his behalf.
“Today’s occasion comes after years of hard fought efforts to bring much needed improvements to the installation. In my previous role in the Senate Armed Services Committee I was proud to secure the original authorization for the Information Systems Facility.”
“In March of this year, as chairman of the Military Construction (MILCON), Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, I was honored to review and approve the DoD’s reprogramming request for $13 million dollars in additional funding for the ISF construction project. This will be the first major military construction project at White Sands Missile Range in nearly 20 years, which directly supports testing and evaluation.”
“I will continue my support for projects in New Mexico. I will fight to make sure our bases have the modern facilities needed to execute their missions while also contributing to New Mexico’s economy.”
Rene Romo, field representative U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), made comments on his behalf.
“This day has been a long time coming, and I’m sure that I am not the only one who is grateful and relieved that it is finally here. A modern, reconfigured and upgraded Information Systems Facility is vitally needed to ensure the integrity and long term viability of the testing mission of White Sands Missile Range. The testing mission is vital to the national security interests of the United States and our allies. So this project couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
Construction for the $70.6 million 56,268 square foot two story facility will move forward with an estimated completion date of December 2023. The total cost includes $53 million for the construction of the building and $17.6 million for the state of the art equipment, which ATEC will fund.
The facility, a data center, is being built to handle all the network and communications on post, and is the gateway for voice and data connectivity to the rest of the country. It is a consolidation of buildings 1512, 123 and a portion of 1621 and 1408.
The facility will be located at the corner of Benet Street and Aberdeen Avenue. Building 120 has been demolished and Building 123 will be demolished at a later time after the ISF becomes operational.