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The region provides access to the DoD’s largest military complex for homeland-security research and development. Additionally, a unique collection of border-security entities creates an ideal environment for partnership opportunities.


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The North American Borderplex's Value Proposition

  • The regional military complex, consisting of Fort Bliss, White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base, is comprised of more than 7,100 square miles of DoD–controlled ground and airspace – one of the largest US military complexes in the world providing a unique environment for military-related activities and support.
  • An extraordinarily broad cross-section of major missions concentrated in one area:
    • Land and Air Unit and Joint Training
    • Joint Power Projection (pre-and-post-deployment activities)
    • Professional Military Education
    • Coalition and Allied Forces Training
    • Maintenance & Repair
    • Research, Development, Test and Evaluation
    • Intelligence (JTF North)
    • Space
    • Medical
    • Installation Management
  • Significant presence of US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Justice agencies deeply engaged in homeland security, law enforcement, and cross-border trade activities:
    • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    • Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS)
    • US Secret Service (USSS)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    • Drug Enforcement Administration, El Paso Intelligence Center (DEA)
  • A stable source highly experienced, motivated, skilled, and reliable personnel
  • An existing regional presence of established defense contractors provides a solid foundation for collaboration, teaming and competition; companies such as Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, ITT, Booz-Allen-Hamilton and others already have successful operations in the regions.
  • A large, diverse base of skilled manufacturing and service subcontractors many of which are qualified small businesses;
  • A strong, vibrant group of Colleges and Universities that provide a continuous stream of graduates with post-secondary education, particularly technical, scientific, engineering and business studies:
    • University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
    • New Mexico State University Las Cruces (NMSU)
    • Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
    • El Paso Community College
    • Western Technical College
  • UTEP and NMSU provide more than 1,200 engineering and science graduates each year
  • University-based research centers focused on defense and homeland security challenges provide an opportunity to collaborate on research efforts
    • UTEP Center for Defense Systems Research
    • UTEP National Center for Border Security & Immigration (NCBSI)
    • NMSU Physical Science Laboratory
  • Operating costs for manufacturing, distribution and R&D compare favorably with most regions of the United States
  • Four international land ports of entry (road, rail, and pedestrian), an international airport , and a border trace with urban, suburban and rural environments provide venues for the potential testing, assessment, and deployment of homeland/border-security technologies
  • Stable weather and geology
  • Modern telecommunications infrastructure with exceptional fiber optic connectivity and capacity
  • Integrated road, rail and air transportation network.

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Fort Bliss — Regional Military Complex

Fort Bliss extends over 1.1 million acres, 80% of which is located in southern New Mexico. Fort Bliss is home to the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division, and is a centerpiece for the Army’s Brigade Combat Team Modernization efforts. Each year, more than 100 countries receive air-defense artillery training at Fort Bliss. The installation is home to missions such as the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Joint Task Force North, Brigade modernization command, William Beaumont Army Medical Center and more. It is a permanent node on the Joint National Training Capability network allowing participation in joint live, virtual, and constructive training events world-wide while remaining within the confines of the regional complex.

Between 2005 and 2013, Fort Bliss realized a net increase of approximately 20,000 active-duty personnel — the largest net gain of troop strength of any military installation in the United States. Slightly more than one-third of this gain will result from the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC 2005) process. During BRAC 2005, Fort Bliss received the top ranking in “military value” among all 97 CONUS (Continental United States) Army installations. The first Armored Division relocated to Fort Bliss from Germany in May 2011 along with numerous new major units, including...

  • Combat Aviation Brigade
  • Fires Brigade (Field Artillery)
  • Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) including 3 Heavy, 1 Infantry and 1 Stryker
  • Sustainment Brigade
Fort Bliss is also home to integrated field experimentation and test & evaluation for new Army capabilities that are being developed through the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) initiative. To support BCTM activities, the Army established the Bridage modernization command (BMC) at Fort Bliss.



The Network is the center piece of the Army’s modernization efforts. The Army’s centerpiece of Network Integration and Evaluation resides with the Brigade modernization command (BMC) at Fort Bliss, TX and White Sands Missile Range, NM. The BMC is responsible for synchronizing the integration and evaluation of the Army’s Network in an operational fully loaded network environment. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (1AD) has the evaluation task force mission that will evaluate the network and integrate new technology. The 2/1, BCT, 1AD continues to demonstrate a fully integrated tactical network where all of the “pieces” of network modernization are being brought together. Over the coming months, the Army will continue to execute its roadmap to test, evaluate and field fully integrated operational network capabilities.

Holloman Air Force Base

Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB) is located in Alamogordo, N.M., approximately 80 miles north of El Paso. HAFB has also experienced significant change over the last few years. Air Force F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters were retired and replaced with the new F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. A recent restationing decision by the Air Force will remove the F-22 and replace it with F-16 Fighting Falcons, a multirole aircraft that will continue to provide outstanding capability to our Nation’s Joint combat forces. Proximity to Army formations at Fort Bliss will provide exceptional close air support training and tactics development, and equipment test and evaluation opportunities. Current plans call for two squadrons of F-16’s (Block 40) to be stationed at HAFB. The Air Force also established HAFB as the sole location for its Unmanned Aircraft System training and replacement. One squadron of MQ-1 “Predators” and two squadrons of MQ-9 “Reapers” are expected at HAFB in the coming years.

The German Air Force maintains its Flying Training Center at Holloman taking advantage of the region’s outstanding weather and controlled airspace. HAFB also maintains and delivers Air Transportable Clinics and Base Expeditionary Airfield Resources, a critical capability for world-wide agile combat support.

Another unique and important capability resident at Holloman AFB is the 46th Test Wing. The unit operates world-class test facilities for high speed sled track testing, navigation and guidance system testing, radar signature measurements, weapon systems flight testing, and serves as the Air Force Liaison for all Air Force programs tested at the adjacent White Sands Missile Range.

White Sands Missile Range

Doña Ana County, NM is home to White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), with the headquarters located 20 miles east of Las Cruces, N.M., and 45 miles north of El Paso, Texas. WSMR is an active military installation that is part of the Army’s Developmental Test Command, which reports to the United States Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC). It is part of the Department of Defense’s designated Major Range and Test Facility Base, and ranked number 10 in military value among all 97 of Army’s CONUS installations in BRAC 2005.
White Sands Missile Range provides support to the Army, Navy, Air Force, DoD and other entities for:

  • Experimentation
  • Testing
  • Research
  • Assessment
  • Development
  • Training 

Building upon decades of experience testing weapons systems for all DoD services, WSMR can merge live and simulated operations across many geographically separated test ranges. WSMR is also focusing on operational training and experimentation of joint forces in conjunction with neighboring facilities. These partnerships, along with WSMR’s unique land and airspace, provide exceptional capabilities for initiatives like the Joint Cruise Missile Defense. NASA, universities, private industry and foreign militaries also have access to WSMR’s capabilities and infrastructure. In anticipation of aggressive changes outlined in DoD and Army transformation initiatives, and increased emphasis on joint operations, WSMR is expected to play a key support role in the development of DoD weapons systems of the future.


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defense & homeland security Opportunities

The size and capabilities of the regional military complex, combined with new Army and Air Force missions coming to the region create a range of opportunities for private companies who aim to develop, manufacture, and provide defense/homeland security technologies, and services. These opportunities include:

  • Research, Development & Testing
    • Basic and Applied Research conducted by local universities
    • Developmental and Operational Testing on regional military installations, ports of entry and borders
    • Test support services
    • Medical Research at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Texas Tech University and area medical centers (combat medicine, TBI, PTSD, etc.)
  • Maintenance and Repair
    • Full range of ground equipment and fixed and rotary wing aircraft requiring support.
  • Modernization Support
    • Modeling and Simulation
    • Engineering Services
    • Systems Integration
    • Vehicle / Equipment Retrofit
  • Training & Education Support
    • Modeling and Simulation
    • Training Services
    • Range Support
  • Manufacturing
    • Existing network of manufacturing facilities, suppliers, support resources, and skilled labor particularly focused on system components and electronics.

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population / Economic Impact on the region

  • A net gain of approximately 20,000 additional active-duty personnel (2005 to 2013) brings total Fort Bliss  military personnel to approximately 30,000.
  • According to a 2013 UTEP study the annual economic impact of Ft Bliss on the regional economy is over $5 Billion.
  • Ft. Bliss directly employs over 8,000 civilians.

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