Encompassing a large military reservation around the city of Albuquerque, Kirtland AFB is home to over 140 tenant organizations, the largest being the Department of Energy's Sandia Corporation. The Sandia facilities, combined with Defense Department special weapons research facilities, make Kirtland one of the most significant research and development assets in the nation.
During the Cold War, Kirtland's role in missile development has been supportive. There has been much research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) conducted here on missile components. In addition to on-base testing, Kirtland has become an important data repository for missile testing conducted elsewhere.