Central Nevada Test Site Base Camp

The Central Nevada Test Site Base Camp is a cluster of small technical buildings, sheds, residences, and an airstrip, with a recently upgraded and lighted runway. It is now used primarily by the Air Force in association with activities at the Nellis Range Complex, such as the threat emitter site and radar station on nearby Halligan Mesa. It is suspected to be used as an auxiliary airfield for classified programs at the Groom Lake facility (the site at Halligan Mesa is suspected to be associated with Groom Lake as well). It was originally developed as the control point and staging area for a proposed second continental nuclear test site, to be initiated with several high-yield nuclear tests associated with antiballistic missile systems. A second nuclear test site was needed for tests that were considered too large for the Nevada Test Site, located 80 miles south of here, as there was concern about ground motion effecting facilities at the Nevada Test Site, as well as Las Vegas. However, after the first nuclear test conducted here, at a ground zero site 25 miles north of the base camp, the area was considered geologically unsuitable, and the group of tests were conducted in Alaska. The test, named Project Faultless, was conducted in 1968.