Photo: Ron Pickinpaugh Oct.1953
EARLIEST KNOWN PHOTO OF THE CAMP
The Army Corps of Engineers had prime responsibility for building the camp and a detachment of engineers was permanently assigned. However, they did not have enough manpower to accomplish the task. Soldiers from the 495th AAA Msl Bn and Nike Ajax Package Crews in training at the ADA School at Fort Bliss, TX were sent to the camp TDY to augment the engineers. Some stayed a couple of weeks, others longer, some permanently. Ron Pickinpaugh and his Package built much of the early camp. Tasks included building wooden frames for squad tents (seen here), pouring concrete pads, building the mess hall, roads, latrines, missile assembly area, missile launch bunkers, communication facilities, everything needed to place a missile launching camp in the middle of the desert. Less enjoyable tasks included KP, cleaning the showers, latrines and hauling trash. The one job which never ended was hauling potable water from Carrizozo to the camp. It was done every day of the camp's existence, usually several times a day.