State Focus: Nevada: Soaring To New Heights

By the BF Staff
From the May/June 2015 Issue

Nevada plays a major role in the nation’s national security, with Nevada businesses having a long history reaching back to World War II of researching, designing, developing and applying a variety of technologies for defense applications. The state is home to Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Fallon and the Hawthorne Army Depot. The Desert Research Institute, a publicly funded research center within the Nevada System of Higher Education, is a global innovator in the development and use of technology for desert combat settings.

Nellis, the home to more squadrons than any other U.S. base, is the location for the 57th Wing, the largest composite flying wing in the U.S. Air Force; The USAF Weapons School; and The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, known as The Thunderbirds. The base, 7 miles northeast of Las Vegas, covers more than 14,000 acres, and its ranges provide 15,000 square miles of airspace for flying operations. An estimated 12,000 military and civilian personnel work at Nellis, making it one of the largest employers in Southern Nevada. Nevada is the first of the 50 states to issue licenses to test driverless vehicles, which will play a key role in the development of a new generation of military vehicles. The Las Vegas campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University confers undergraduate and advanced degrees in Professional Aeronautics, Space Education, Systems Engineering, and Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

There were 209 jobs added to Nevada’s Aerospace and Defense sector in the fourth quarter. Annual earnings also recovered from third quarter losses with a $700 gain. There are currently 13,300 Nevadans employed in this sector with average annual earnings of $78,700. Earnings are net of benefits. (Graph: Nevada Governor’s Office of economic Development)

Creech Air Force Base, about 35 miles north of Las Vegas, is home to the 432 Wing, which has six operational squadrons, one maintenance squadron, and MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles, which are central to the ongoing Global War on Terror. The base is also home to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab.

Naval Air Station Fallon is the U.S. Navy’s premier air-to-air and air-to-ground training facility. Located southeast of the city of Fallon in western Nevada, along U.S. Highway 95, about 60 miles south of Reno, is the home of the Naval Fighter Weapons School, or TOPGUN, the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons Schools, or TOPDOME, and the Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School. Navy SEAL Combat Search and Rescue Training also takes place here.

The Hawthorne Army Depot is a U.S. Army ammunition storage site located near Hawthorne, in Western Nevada, about 135 miles south of Reno along U.S. Highway 95. The depot covers 147,000 acres and has storage space in 2,427 bunkers.


Fallon, Nevada is located in Churchill County, the beautiful “Oasis of Nevada” in the Northwestern part of the state just one hour east of Reno and an hour-and-a-half from magnificent Lake Tahoe. A gateway to the Great Basin, the Churchill County community boasts plentiful hunting and fishing, bird watching, and breath-taking recreational opportunities. A thriving agriculture industry provides surface irrigation of 60,000 acres of production agriculture, there are 22 dairies that provide milk to the Dairy Farmers of America whole milk powder plant, as well as a robust row-crop and specialty crop farms, including a vineyard and Nevada’s only estate distillery.

At the Naval Air Station Fallon, the community hosts the Top Gun fighter school, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, and Fleet units to support integrated tactical training. The area is a strong, natural resource based economy with a surprisingly diverse population of skilled workers, a pro-business environment, easy access to rail (Union Pacific and Burlington Northern) and highway (US 95 and I-80) transportation corridors, just miles from the Tahoe Regional Industrial Center, home of the new Tesla battery plant.

Churchill County is also rich in green energy with highly developed geothermal resources, the newly awarded Frontier Observatory for Resource in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) research project in conjunction with the Department of the Navy and the Department of Energy, advanced technology in solar power generation, and historic hydro-power generation. The community is rich in natural resources and green energy power generation, perfect for meeting the needs of companies desiring the use of these prime resources.

Development opportunities in Churchill County include several large rail served industrial parcels in western Churchill County ranging in size from 10 to 640 acres. Most have electric, gas, and dark fiber at or near the site. There are other large non-rail served parcels suitable for development. A limited number of sites have existing access to municipal sewer and water. The Hazen and western Churchill County area have excess rail capacity and two branch lines operating in the area, the Mina Branch and Fallon Lead, with available switches already installed. Upon authorization of the Board of Commissioners, Churchill County can make available 250,000 gallons of water per day through the Ashbrook wastewater package treatment plant which can be relocated to any suitable site, as well as land and water that can be made available.

Naval Air Station Fallon hosts the famous Top Gun fighter school, the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and Fleet units to support integrated tactical training of the nation’s premier fighter pilots. (Credit:

The City of Fallon also has several parcels available in the New River Business Park, offering shovel-ready, customizable one-acre to fifteen-acre lots, with fully-built infrastructure and utilities. Fallon Municipal Airport, with a newly reconstructed 5,703 foot runway and new Automated Weather Observation System has just gone through a $4 million upgrade in facilities and equipment. The community is wired with broadband/fiber-rich technology which is available throughout the community, including 96-stand dark fiber availability.

The Churchill County School District serves approximately 3489 students, and consists of one high school (grades 9-12), one middle school (grades 6-8), three grade level schools (grades K-1, 2-3, 4-5), and one early learning center (Pre-K). The Churchill County School District reflects the community pride and support for student achievement in academics, sports and extracurricular activities.

Fallon also boasts a local campus of the Western Nevada College, a comprehensive community college that serves more than 5,000 students each year across an 18,000 square mile service area. The college offers a diverse curriculum and multiple degrees through its campuses in Carson City, Fallon and Minden/Gardnerville, as well as through a distance education program. Leadership of the college has committed to being proactive and agile in their ability to create and implement needed training programs specific to companies interested in locating in the Northern Nevada region.

Banner Community Hospital operates a 40-bed facility along with full emergency and surgical facilities. There is also an urgent care facility as well as many medical practitioners and a small medical park.

Dairy Farmers of America just opened a $90 million dry milk-powdered plant that processes up to 2 million pounds of milk each day from local dairies, primarily for the export market. They ship several truckloads of dry milk product to the Port of Oakland each day.

Fallon, NV is ready for development and leadership can personally walk your business through the location and start-up process. You are invited to visit this location and experience a small community with rural values, and world-class access; truly a modern-day Mayberry.