On Aug. 21, 2015, The Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce 2015 Leadership Las Cruces team participated in a fun and fact-filled day focusing on the impact the military has on the area economy. Doña Ana Community College provided a training session for these community leaders focusing on team effectiveness. A video commemorating the service of our present-day military and those that served in the past was shown to emphasize our respect and gratitude to those who protect and have protected our freedom.
The group’s first stop after DACC was at the National Guard Armory/Aviation unit west of Las Cruces. USANG Specialist Tyrel Ortega gave a tour of the Aviation Unit which was timed perfectly with the towing of a helicopter from the hangar to the launch area and lift off. Seven boxes of non-perishable items and personal supplies were presented to Specialist Ortega for further distribution to their sister unit from Santa Fe that is currently deployed.
The next stop was to the virtual shooting range where Captain Joshua Schatzman informed of the benefits of having a virtual shooting range and the feedback soldiers are able to receive on their marksmanship. The Leadership Las Cruces team was then invited to practice their marksmanship.
A quick bus trip followed to the national treasure known as White Sands Missile Range. Public Affairs Specialist Cammy Montoya organized a very informative tour of WSMR. Executive Director Paul Mann introduced the group to the 2.2 million acre range with a presentation about the Cox Range Control Center and the ability to test and prove experiments that have never been done on earth.
Testing at White Sands occurs for several branches of the military as well as commercial customers. The afternoon was finished off with a tour of the WSMR Desert Ship.
The estimated daily impact that WSMR has is $3.17M per day in employment and $4.7M per day in spending.
It was an enlightening day for the entire group about the services both the National Guard and White Sands provide to the area.
Special thanks to the many generous contributors to the day including the recruiting offices for the U. S. Army, Navy, Marines, and National Guard.