Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is in southeast Albuquerque, nestled between the Sandia and Manzano mountain ranges. It is home to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and its subordinate wings, the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing and the 377th Air Base Wing. It is also home to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Albuquerque office, the Air Force Safety Center, the Air Force Inspection Agency, the Air Force Operational Test and evaluation Center, the 58th Special Operations Wing, Space Development and Test Directorate, the New Mexico Air National Guard 150th Wing, the Directed Energy and Space Vehicle Directorates of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Department of Energy Albuquerque Office, the National Nuclear Security Administration and Sandia National Laboratories.

Flying operations at Kirtland AFB share the flightline, runways and airspace with commercial aviation at the Albuquerque Sunport.