California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
A United States Army Museum Activity
Preserving California's Military Heritage
Historic California Posts, Stations and Airfields
Livermore Gunnery Range
(Livermore Naval Air Station Gunnery Range, Livermore Rifle Range)

SITE NAME: The site was previously known as the Livermore Naval Air Station Gunnery Range, the Livermore Rifle Range, and the Livermore Gunnery Range (LGR), which was part of NAS Livermore. The Livermore Rod and Gun Club used the LGR pistol range during the 1950s. Currently, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) operates on a 413 acre parcel of land which includes the 50.005 acre former LGR. The SNL property is owned by the Department of Energy and operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company.

LOCATION: The Livermore Gunnery Range was located two and one-half miles east of the city of Livermore, approximately 40 miles east of San Francisco and just south of Interstate 580. The northern border of the property is East Avenue, and the Arroyo Seco runs southeast to northwest across the upper third of the property.

SITE HISTORY: Prior to World War II portions of the 50.005 acre parcel which became known as the LGR were owned by Louis Madsen, John and Dora Bargman, and Charles and Sue Nissen. In 1942 the Government obtained a 47.175 acre parcel along with an adjoining 2.83 acre parcel by Declaration of Taking No. 22334R, recorded October 17, 1942. This parcel is depicted in Alameda County Assessor Map Book 99A, page 1601, parcel 5-1.

The LGR consisted of a narrow parcel of land 530 feet wide and 4,111 feet long and was developed as a small arms firing range and recreation area for use by personnel from NAS Livermore. NAS Livermore was located on the north side of East Avenue directly across from the LGR, and an overhead pedestrian walkway the two areas. In addition to the rifle range and skeet range, the LGR contained a parking area, baseball diamond, and speedball courts.

Effective October 10, 1946, NAS Livermore was placed on inactive status. As of this date no aircraft were attached to or operated from this facility, and reactivation was not planned. NAS Livermore was disestablished on December 15, 1946. As of November 1949 former NAS Livermore was on standby for future use in the event of a national emergency, and title to the property was retained by the Navy.

Custody, administration, jurisdiction, and control of this 50.005 acre parcel was officially transferred from the Navy to the Atomic Energy Commission on January 5, 1951 along with the rest of the NAS Livermore property. According to Carter Wreden, President of the Livermore Rod and Gun Club, his organization used the LGR pistol range during the 1950s. He does not know whether they leased the property or were granted its use by informal agreement with the Government.

In 1956 Sandia National Laboratory opened new facilities on the LGR site to support the nuclear weapons research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory which was erected on the site of former NAS Livermore. The 413 acre SNL property is owned by the Department of Energy and operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, as one of the Government's multi-programmatic national laboratories under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. SNL employs approximately 1000 people and conducts research in fields such as combustion, global climate change, advanced energy sources, semiconductor manufacturing, advanced manufacturing technologies, computational and information sciences, and modeling and simulation.

In 1993 Martin Marietta was awarded the Sandia management contract by the Department of Energy, and in 1995 Martin Marietta merged with Lockheed to become Lockheed Martin. Sandia is part of Lockheed Martin's Energy and Environment Sector headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

Source: Army Corps of Engineers

Updated 9 April 2007

Questions and comments concerning this site should be directed to the Webmaster