Nellis Range Complex

The Nellis Range is a 4,700 square-mile restricted zone in southern Nevada, and one of the largest and busiest military ranges in the country. Much of the land in the range is used for combat training by the Air Force, which conducts large-scale war games over the range, and within the 12,000 square-mile restricted air space above and around it. Associated with this combat training are fixed and mobile threat-simulators, simulated enemy air fields, mock industrial facilities, radar stations, and telemetry facilities. Target objects, such as tanks and aircraft, are set up for inert and live bombing practice, and portions of the range are wired for electronic warfare training. Also within the range are several large-scale complexes with distinct functions and histories, including the base at Groom Lake (AKA Area 51), a "secret" Air Force base which is known as the development, test, and evaluation site for numerous advanced aircraft and weapons systems. At the north end of the range is the Tonopah Test Range, managed by Sandia National Labs, and used as a base for weapons testing and development, including, recently, earth-penetrating bombs. On the west side of Nellis is Indian Springs Auxiliary Field, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) test base for the Department of Defense.