Back at Fort Bliss (McGregor Range, New Mexico)

We rode the overnight bus from Fort Hood back to El Paso, and this time it was a shorter ride for some reason (probably because we didn’t get lost like last time).   I managed to get some sleep, but the next morning was very sore from sleeping on the uncomfortable bus seats.

Last time, we were at Westbrook, which is way out in the boonies.   This time, they are keeping us at McGregor Range proper.  It’s off the 54 highway going north from El Paso into New Mexico.    Here is a satelite view of what it looks like at this place:

mcgregor-range

The idea behind McGregor is to make it look like a FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Iraq.  They have barbed wire fences all around, and signs in Arabic/English warning you to keep away and not take photos.  Every couple of hours, prayers are broadcast over loudspeakers in Arabic, just like would happen at a FOB in Iraq.  And of course the arid, desert environment is similar to that of Iraq.

They have been doing a bit more training here.  This is a big base for desert combat training, with armored humvees, and plenty of desert.  We spent a night doing a field exercise where we returned to Westbrook and then defended it while people shot blanks, had Iraqi wedding parties (shooting in the air), and then attacking us with mortars and gunfire.  It was kind of fun. 

This weekend, I return to Camarillo for a 4-day pass.  After a month away, I am VERY much looking forward to this!

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11 Responses

  1. In 1958 I was tdy to Ft. Bliss with a Nike missle company from Ft. Story, Va. We were bussed north to Red Canyon Missle Range to test fire the missles. In 1959 we came but this time we used McGregor Range. On weekends we would go over to Jaurez and have a blast. I was only 18 and had never been out of Tennessee except on short vacations. These were some of the best years of my life. I really appreciate what our troups are doing and pray for all to make back home.

  2. In 1958 i had just got to MCGREGOR fireing range .We stayed at fort bliss at night and came out to McGREGOR in the morning .There were tents set up and we ate breakfast there. I was in a signal h &h company and had to make sure the missle sites were opperational for the units coming in to train.In 1959 we move out to McGREGOR .We had a mess hall and new everything.I was there till 1960 and was a E4 when i left to go to korea.I met some great guys there and would have not traded it for the world.I would like to hear from you guys that were there at that time.

  3. I lived at McGregor Range Base camp for a few years. 2-7 ADA (Patriot) was based there until some time after Desert Storm.

  4. I was in the Army 1968-1970 and went through BCT at Fort Bliss. All of our field training, including weapon qualification (M-14) was done at McGregor Range in New Mexico. McGregor Range was north of Fort Bliss on Hwy 54 (Dyer Street). We rode there on busses. In addition to the rifle range, grenade range, infiltration course, we also did our bivouac out there, too. During our week out there, I got to see a Nike-Hercules missile firing. I would later serve with a N-H unit with ARADCOM in Minnesota. Mcgregor Range was hot during the day, and cold at night. Kind of hard to get used to.

  5. Yea I was stationed On McGregoe Range 70 to 71 I was on pad #5 HHQ 2/52 ADA

  6. I was stationed at McGreager range from 66-67. I was in charge of keeping the OP’s cleaned and in good repair. We had dignitaries from all over the world to watch the firing of the Nike-Hercules,Nike-Ajax and Hawk missiles. I also was in charge of building the bus stop on the range. It was built with rocks from the Prather ranch house. They were the owners of the land before the government took over. Does any one know if that bus stop is still there? Also as you came into the range there were missiles set up along the road at the gate. Are they still there? I put those up too.

    • After Viet Nam was at McGregor Range C Battery 1/3 ADA in 72. According to the aerial image the big change is a Battalion HQ building and new barracks to the north. Anybody remember Hiway 54 bar on the Texas/New Mexico border? Neither state would claim it.

      • I was there as an MP in 1970. Not bad duty, had good times in the desert on week-duty. Hwy 54 can’t forget it

    • Richard: Just wondering, I too was also stationed for duty at McGregor Range in 1966. I met a young couple (your name) from R——, Illinois. I also remember taking some trips on weekends, north to the higher elevations of N Mexico along with a Sargent ??????, who had the transportation (MOPAR With a 440) As a matter of fact, tonite, while looking for some photo’s of Ft. Bliss “proper” I ran across some photo’s of these weekend trips. I was only assigned to McGregor Range for about 8 or 9 months, became “excess personnel” there, then sent back to Ft. Bliss and whole another story there.

  7. I was stationed at mcgregor range from 63-65.my mos was 282.10
    radar repair. i worked at Center Range Control during missle firings.It was a great experience. lived on and off post.

  8. was at McGregor 59-60 as 1st lt. briefing officer for visitors. anybody go back that far?

    Andy Wittner

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