North Las Vegas, Nevada- Years ago, when the Nellis US Air Force Base first became established, the city of Las Vegas was literally miles away, and the closest neighbors were jackrabbits and coyotes.
Now, the very edges of the Nellis Air Base is colliding with ever expanding suburbs, and there is a certain amount of friction that is resulting. Back in 1941 the Strip was still US Highway number 911 and the region was very sparsely populated. At the time, not even 10,000 people lived in the immediate region, and it was an ideal place to locate an active US Air Force Base.
But now, the two entities, the Air base and the surrounding community are on a collision course. Much of the open space located north of the Nellis Air Base is gone, and without it much of the rational for Nellis Air Base to be where it is currently located goes with it.
Nellis Air Force Base tests major weapons systems, and it is in many ways the base where pilots go to sharpen their skills. Without open spaces to train with live weapons, much of the advantages that Nellis Air Base has is lost.
Can the needs of cities wanting to expand co exist with the needs of a military that desperately needs open spaces for weapons development and pilot training? Without more support for the type of conflict that Nellis Air Base is undergoing, and for the military and its need to train at large, we will be losing assets and support for the very military that provides the freedom for the cities in the first place.