The U.S. Air Force facility in Nevada, Area 51 (disambiguation).
Area 51 is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (134 km) north-northwest of Las Vegas. The surrounding area is a popular tourist destination, including the small town of Rachel, Nevada on the “Extraterrestrial Highway”.
A large military airfield is situated at its center on the southern shore of Groom Lake. The Air Force acquired the site in 1955, primarily for flight testing the Lockheed U-2 aircraft.
The United States Air Force (USAF) facility commonly known as Area 51 is a highly classified remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base within the Nevada Test and Training Range.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the correct names for the facility are Homey Airport (KXTA) and Groom Lake, though the name Area 51 was used in a CIA document from the Vietnam War. The facility has also been referred to as Dreamland and Paradise Ranch, among other nicknames.
The USAF public relations has referred to the facility as “an operating location near Groom Dry Lake”. The special use airspace around the field is referred to as Restricted Area 4808 North (R-4808N).
The base’s current primary purpose is publicly unknown. It is a USAF open training range, and it most likely supports the development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems based on historical evidence.
The intense secrecy surrounding the base has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object(UFO) folklore.
The base has never been declared a secret base, but all research and occurrences in Area 51 are Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI). The CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of the base for the first time on 25 June 2013, following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in 2005, and they declassified documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51.