Pacific Missile Range Facility

The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai is the world’s largest multi-environmental range capable of supporting surface, subsurface, air, and space operations simultaneously.

The installation is located on the west side of the island of Kauai on a long, narrow site bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The nearest town is Kekaha, about 8 miles to the southeast.

The base has family housing located near the beach, a Navy Exchange, a barber shop and a gas station. Recreational facilities include a tennis court, racquetball court, golf-driving range and swimming pool. Movies are shown on weekends at an outdoor theater. Shenanigans restaurant is open in the evenings.

The base has support facilities at Makaha Ridge, Port Allen and Koke’e State Park, as well as a surveillance radar on the nearby island of Niihau.

HISTORY

1921: The land was acquired by the Kekaha Sugar Company and a private runway was built for private planes.

1940: The U.S. Army acquired the land, paved the runway and named the installation Mana Airport.

1941: The Army expanded the airport to 2,058 acres. Private airlines and military aircraft  frequently utilized the airport during World War II.

1954: The base is designated Bonham Air Force Base. The Air Force begins testing the Regulus I missile.

1958: The Pacific Missile Range Facility is established to support the growing US Navy presence.

1964: The Pacific Missile Range Facility and Bonham are transferred to the Navy.

 

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