Who owns Kirtland AFB?
The base is part of the Air Force Materiel Command, a Major Air Command headquartered at Wright Patterson AFB near Dayton OH. The commander of AFMC, as it is known by its acronym, is a four-star general.
The ranking general officer at Kirtland AFB is presently a two-star Air Force general commanding the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, a tenant (or “Associate”) unit at the base.
The ranking Air Force Materiel Command general officer at Kirtland AFB is the commander of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, a one-star general.
The Installation Commander (also known as “Base Commander” or locally as “The Mayor of Kirtland AFB”) of Kirtland Air Force Base is the commander of the 377th Air Base Wing under the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, also known as the host wing of Kirtland AFB.
The Air Force Materiel Command units on the base include the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and its two subordinate wings, the host wing or 377th Air Base Wing, and the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing. Also on base and under Air Force Materiel Command are the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates.
Kirtland AFB is unique in the number of tenant (or “Associate”) units on base, numbering over 110 at present. Kirtland AFB is hard to understand because of the multiplicity of units.
One recent Installation Commander used the analogy of being a “Shopping Mall” manager, providing the lighting, heat and cooling, security and other support to Mall tenants, including “anchor” tenants of special size and importance to the Mall.
The KPC considers the 18 organizations featured at the end of this web site section as the most important on the base out of the myriad of agencies on Kirtland AFB.
Kirtland Air Force Base Missions
The best way to look at Kirtland AFB is to divide the missions at Kirtland AFB into four major categories:
- Nuclear Research and Sustainment
- Research and Development and Test and Evaluation
- Operational Organizations
The 18 major organizations on base fall into one of the categories above:
Nuclear Research and Sustainment:
Department of Energy organizations, Sandia National Laboratories, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center
Research and Development and Test
Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Directorates, Space Development and Test Directorate, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Airborne Laser Systems Program Office
58th Special Operations Wing, 150th Fighter Wing of the New Mexico Air National Guard, Operationally Response Space Organization, Defense Threat Reduction Agency,505th Distributed Warfare Group-Distributed Mission Operations Center, Air Force Safety Center, Air Force Inspection Agency
Provided mainly by the 377th Air Base Wing, commanded by the Kirtland AFB Installation Commander. The host wing at the base.
Major Air Commands at KAFB
There are 5 Major Air Commands of the Air Force represented on base:
- Air Force Materiel Command
- Air Education and Training Command
- Air Combat Command
- Air Force Space Command
- Air Force Reserve
The National Guard is also represented on base, both Army and Air National Guard. There are also several field agencies and direct reporting units.