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Kirtland Air Force Base History

Kirtland Field 1943

The 377th Air Base Wing History Office preserves the institutional memory of the 377 ABW and Kirtland Air Force Base. 

It produces an annual history of Wing activities and historical studies; maintains lineage, honors, and heraldry; answers historical inquiries; and promotes the heritage of the 377 ABW and Kirtland AFB.  In so doing, it supports the Wing’s mission through informed decision-making and improves esprit de corps. 

History informs us of how the past influences the present, and subsequently shapes the future.

KAFB Historic Landscape

The Kirtland AFB’s past is embedded in its landscape and architecture on the East Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

First trod by indigenous pre-historic tribes around 15,000 BCE, and later by several bands of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made their homes throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley, the area of Kirtland AFB has also been inhabited by ranchers, miners, and homesteaders. 

It is most notably the cradle of Albuquerque’s aviation history and later transformed into a sophisticated military training complex. 

It supported the nation’s nuclear research and development efforts during World War II and the Cold War, and its presence continues to dominate the geography of southeast Albuquerque.


Team Kirtland pays homage to notable individuals in the history of the Air Force, particularly those who have served at the base.

Col. Roy C. Kirtland

Contact Information

377 ABW History Office
Building 20604
2000 Wyoming Blvd SE
Kirtland AFB, NM  87117
Phone: 505-846-0170

Heritage Booklet