The US Army Air Defense Artillery Museum, which is commonly called the ADA Museum, opened on the 200th anniversary of the founding of the US Army. Under the direction of Major General C. J. LeVan, the museum first opened on June 14, 1975. The Fort Bliss Replica Museum, which opened on November 6, 1955, is the responsibility of the Director of the ADA Museum. As is the case with the Fort Bliss Replica Museum, the 3rd Calvary Museum is also the responsibility of the Director of the ADA Museum. As such, the Fort Bliss Replica Museum, the 3rd Calvary Museum, and the ADA Museum share a link and are often viewed together.
The artifacts collection at the ADA Museum consists of military items that relate to Air Defense Artillery, the 3rd Armored Cavalry, and Fort Bliss. The 3rd Calvary Museum contains artifacts that relate to the 3rd Calvary's history. These artifacts date back to the mid-19th century. The artifacts at the Fort Bliss Museum are relevant to the history of Fort Bliss and date back to the founding of Fort Bliss in 1857.
The artifacts housed in the ADA Museum relate to the history of antiaircraft gunnery. These artifacts date back as far as 1917. Some of the artifacts on display at the ADA Museum include a Multiple Gun Motor Carriage M-16 Halftrack (1940-1955), a 90mm Antiaircraft Gun M-2 (1944-1953), a Chaparral Air Defense Missile System M-4 (1968-1992), and a Vulcan 20mm ADA Gun M-16 (1968-1992). In addition, visitors are able to see some of the larger missiles, such as Nike Ajax, V-2, Sprint, Nike Hercules, Spartan, and Hawk.
Renovations at the Fort Bliss Museum and the ADA Museum began in the early 2000s. These renovations added a 175-seat auditorium that is used for seminars, special presentations, and military classes. Additional space was also added to the area near the ADA Association Gift Shop in order to have room for storage and an office. Several of the large missiles previously mentioned were also moved and redisplayed as part of the renovations.
There is a Museum Park that is adjacent to the ADA Museum. Museum Park provides a showcase for equipment and antiaircraft weapons, spanning the time period from World War II until the present day. While US weapons are prominent, the ADA Museum also includes foreign weapons from Germany, Italy, and Japan. These foreign weapons come in a variety of sizes and shapes. In the center of the park, all of the major configurations of target drones are mounted to show the different types of training devices that have helped to develop gunnery training.
The museum is home to research collections that include documents, photographs, and books that relate to the histories of Fort Bliss, the Air Defense Artillery, the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, and its predecessors. In addition to the research collections, there is a library at the museum. The library does not circulate its materials and is only open to staff or scholars.
The ADA Museum's regular hours of operation are 9:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, the museum is closed. The museum is also closed on all federal holidays.
The ADA Museum is located in Building 500 on Pleasanton Road in El Paso, Texas. Additional information regarding the US Army Air Defense Artillery Museum can be obtained by calling 915-568-5412.