WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. — A southern New Mexico missile testing range has logged nearly 5,500 missions this year.

Those missions include firing missiles and rockets, laser tests and training in F-16 fighter jets on 3,200 square miles of the White Sands Missile Range.

Test center commander Col. Eric Rannow says the missions allow the U.S. military to be prepared at all times with cutting-edge technology.

The U.S. Air Force sponsored almost 1,615 training missions this year, with 458 of those involving the fighter jets.

One of the biggest jobs at the missile range is ensuring that weapons work in the conditions where the military needs them. That means testing in nuclear environments and in varying temperatures.

The test center also has taken missions on the road, doing tests in Europe and the Pacific Ocean.

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