29 October 2008
I was stationed at Kirtland AFB from March 1978 to January 1983 and also
later worked at Sandia Labs. I have pictures on my weather web site
that you may download and use. I will add more in a few days.
The color drawing is from an original concept of design before anything was
built at Trestle. I had wind measuring equipment on Trestle grounds
and at Vertical Polarized Dipole Horizontal Polarized Dipole (VPD/HPD),
the facility next to Trestle. There were plans to construct another
facility in that arroyo as a vertical test of the MX missile.
Other activities at Kirtland: East of the Manzano Base area of KAFB
was an asphalt paved road area that was used to train DOE security guards/drivers
on security of nuclear materials in trucks. The asphalt road was miles
down dirt roads behind Manzano and beyond the firing range.
In that same area was Coyote Canyon. We trained Sandia technicians
to use the Rawinsonde system they had borrowed from Air Force Weapons Lab.
They were firing air-to-air missiles through the canyon and needed to measure
the environmental conditions of the canyon.
Further East was a bomb test area that AFWL used to evaluate blast effects
of 800 pound bombs. I have shrapnel souvenirs of that job.
I have 1977 pictures of the F4 that rode the sled into the reinforced
block. That was co-sponsored by Japan to test the effect of an aircraft
crashing onto a nuclear power plant structure.
Do you know about Thunder Wells ? That was a place on South KAFB where
they drilled holes and filled them with ammonium nitrate slurry and detonated
it. It tested blast doors of missile silo designs. The unexploded
slurry later years later seeped into the South Valley ground water.
KAFB also had a south landing strip. We used it to train C-130 Rescue
crews on landing. There was an Air Force Ground Control Approach (GCA)
radar just for that purpose only.
Sandia had their own weather station until their forecaster retired.
They had a large network of lightning detectors and lightning warning receivers
around the base and Sandia.
The southern most end of Wyoming Blvd was an animal facility. It was
used for testing who knows what I didn't want to know. I've heard that
there is an area near the golf course where irradiated sheep were buried.
When Iran attacked the US Embassy in Tehran, Sandia Labs used the basement
of an abandoned barracks at Manzano Base to test a foam dispensing security
system. I had to remove some equipment cabling so they could destroy
the building or whatever they wanted to do. Mixtures of the foam could
make the floors slippery or sticky, or even solidify to trap the invaders.
Weather Equipment Technician, Retired