This 16-part blog series will delve into the history, mission, and mysteries of Nellis Air Force Base. We will investigate this enigmatic military outpost from its opening in 1941. We’ll look at the base’s numerous military functions and the various conspiracy theories surrounding it. We will also investigate the multiple reports of UFO sightings and extraterrestrial encounters in the area. Join us as we explore Area 51’s mysteries and find the truth about this enigmatic military outpost.


Nellis Air Force Base, located in southern Nevada, is one of the most well-known U.S. Air Force bases. The base was established in 1941 as a gunnery range for Army Air Corps pilots and later served as a training facility during World War II. After World War II, Nellis AFB became one of the most important military installations in the United States due to its growing importance as an advanced training center for fighter pilots preparing to engage in combat overseas during that period. Since then, Nellis has continued to grow and develop into one of the essential bases in the USAF due to its unique training facilities, including Red Flag exercises and other tactical operations programs conducted at various locations within the base itself. Today it remains one of America’s premier military installations with a rich history dating back nearly 80 years!

A Brief History of Nellis

Nellis Air Force Base was established in 1941 and was initially named Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School. It was renamed Nellis Air Force Base in 1948 and has continued to grow over the years. In the 1950s, it became the home of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, responsible for training airmen to use weapons systems effectively.

Interesting Facts About Nellis

Home of the USAF Weapons School and World-Famous Red Flag Combat Exercise

Red Flag is the world’s largest and most realistic combat training exercise. It’s held at Nellis Air Force Base, located just outside Las Vegas. Each year, more than 14,000 military participants from across the globe participate in Red Flag—a realistic combat training exercise that helps prepare aircrews for real-world situations.

Red Flag aims to provide aircrews with realistic combat training while minimizing risk to personnel and equipment. This allows them to improve their skills through various challenging missions, such as close air support or suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD).

The RQ-4 Global Hawk at the 99th Air Base Wing, Nellis AFB, in 2010

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system used for surveillance and reconnaissance. It can fly at an altitude of 60,000 feet and stay aloft for over 24 hours.

The UAV comes in two variants: Block 10, with a wingspan that measures 55 meters (180 feet), and Block 20, with a wingspan of 65 meters (213 feet). Both variants have an overall length of 17 meters (56 feet), but they differ significantly in weight: 3 tons for Block 10 versus 5 tons for Block 20. The RQ-4 can take off from any runway more than 4,300 meters long using its power; it does not need to be launched by another aircraft or helicopter as many other drones do.

WPAFB Experienced Rapid Growth in the 1950s

In the 1950s, WPAFB experienced rapid growth. It was chosen as the location for the Air Force’s first flight simulator research center in 1953 and became home to the base’s first permanent flying squadron—the 66th Fighter Interceptor Squadron—in 1956.

In 1958, it was announced that air defense forces would be relocated from other bases in the United States to Nellis AFB and would be organized under Air Defense Command (ADC). In April 1959, ADC moved its headquarters from Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, to Nellis AFB.

Nellis Opened in 1941 With a Single Cattle Ranch Leased as a Gunnery Range

In 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps leased a cattle ranch located on the base to use as a gunnery range. The range was named after Major William Harrell Nellis, an American officer killed during World War I while commanding an aerial combat unit in France.

The Army Air Forces used the base during World War II for training pilots before they were sent overseas or into combat zones such as Europe and North Africa.

Nellis AFB Is Known for Its Rich Military History

Nellis AFB is known for its rich military history. The base has existed since 1941 and has been the home to many different units throughout its history.

Nellis AFB has been the home of the USAF Weapons School since 1975, founded by General Chuck Yeager. This unit trains new fighter pilots on how to fly advanced fighters such as F-15 Eagles or F-16 Fighting Falcons, and pilots who wish to become instructors at Nellis can also attend this school.

The 99th Air Base Wing Serves as the Host Unit at Nellis AFB.

The 99th Air Base Wing serves as the host unit at Nellis AFB. The 99th ABW is the most extensive base in the USAF and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Nellis AFB, which includes more than 5,000 airmen and civilian employees. A large amount of support activity occurs at “The Bomb,” including base functions such as security forces, communications, contracting, and other support roles.

The 99th AW consists of two flying squadrons (413th FLTS and 414th FLTS), one ground training squadron (416 FTG), one maintenance squadron (43 MXS), one medical group plus an aeromedical evacuation flight, along with numerous non-flying groups/divisions that provide administrative services across all aspects within Nellis AFB’s operations portfolio including intelligence/counterintelligence, weather forecasting/operations control center & laboratory support functions.

In 1949, the Base Became a Home for Fighter Pilots at WPAFB

In 1949, the base became a home for fighter pilots. The base was renamed Nellis Air Force Base and was named after William “Billy” Nellis, a World War I pilot and flying instructor.

Nellis Air Force Base is among the most well-known U.S. Air Force bases.

Nellis Air Force Base is among the most well-known U.S. Air Force bases. The base is located in the Las Vegas Valley, which means it’s also home to many casinos and other entertainment venues, although these are off-limits to military personnel. Nellis AFB is home to the USAF Warfare Center, which focuses on combat training for U.S. pilots and other aircrews and cyber warfare training for their technicians and specialists. The base is named after World War II pilot Major James H. Nellis, whose name means “fertile valley” in Gaelic—a fitting tribute since this area has a lot of space for growth (and also has a lot of green grass).

The base is also known for hosting Red Flag combat exercises yearly; these exercises allow military personnel from around the world to come together at one location and practice real-life scenarios they might encounter while deployed overseas or during wartime operations at home bases like Nellis itself!


Nellis Air Force Base has an impressive history and continues to grow. It is one of the largest Air Force bases in the United States and one of its most critical military hubs. We hope you enjoyed learning about the history behind this fantastic base.