U.S. Army Patriot Invites Public To Attend Community Day Feb. 19


The public is invited to a special Community Day to meet the U.S. Army Patriot Battalion, take photos of Patriot missile equipment, and watch demonstrations of missile reloads. No live weapons or ammunition will be on site. 

Set for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 19, the free event will be held at the open space area east of the North Mesa soccer fields. Bounded by San Ildefonso Road, North Mesa Road, the horse stables, and North Mesa Park Road, the area is sometimes called “FEMA-Ville.” Signage will direct guests to designated parking in the area. 

The Community Day event will be a short reprieve for the 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery that is scheduled to be in Los Alamos from Feb. 17 – 24 to conduct a series of Patriot air and missile defense system exercises. The entourage of approximately 40 vehicles and 70 soldiers will set up camp at the Los Alamos Airport and “FEMA-Ville” to specifically test the Patriot battery, including a radar set, engagement control station, power generation, antenna mast group, and several launcher stations. As there will be no live ammunition, noise from the area will be primarily from generators.

During the operation, North Mesa Park Road at San Ildefonso to North Mesa Road. will be closed, temporarily shutting down the Los Alamos Dog Park and Tennis Courts in this area. Kwage Mesa Trail can be accessed using North Mesa Road. through the horse stable area, and then south by the Brewer Arena to connect back up with North Mesa Park Road.

First utilized in the 1980s, the U.S. Patriot system has been consistently deployed to protect U.S. forces and assets in nearly every significant military action since. While initially designed as an antiaircraft system, newer variants of Patriot are capable of engaging ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and aircraft. Additionally, over 15 countries around the world currently operate Patriot.