Employees at PTRC include NMT full-time staff, contract employees, and temporary and emergency employees. The number of employees has almost doubled in the past two years and PTRC now operates with about 90. The PTRC also uses a significant number of part time contract role players to support its training mission.

Future Vision

We plan to continue expanding our capability and improving our versatility to meet unique customer needs. In a changing and chaotic world, security is essential. It becomes a science, a documentation of best practice. We strive to advance this science as it affects our planet.

Rebirth of a Town

The Playas Training and Research Center (PTRC), a division of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) is located in Hidalgo County, New Mexico. It was formerly an industry “company town” housing some 1,500 residents and employees of the Phelps Dodge Corporation, which operated a copper smelter located in the extreme southwestern corner of the state. It included 300 houses, a bowling alley, store, tennis courts, post office, swimming pool, baseball fields and parks, medical clinic, fire station, and gas pumps. In 1999 Phelps Dodge closed the smelter and the town site remained home for only a few families.

In 2004, New Mexico Tech (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology) purchased the entire town, including all buildings and supporting infrastructure and established the Playas Training and Research Center. The PTRC began operations in October of 2004, with the initial mission of establishing a training venue for first responders and counter-terrorism related work. The town sits on a square mile within access to 400,000 acres of available land use.

New life for the area!


Time in Playas -
helicoptor rescue Afghan woman classroom complex community center community center yurt office building explosive breach Afhan woman and soldier helicoptor police Playas Peak

Click picture for slide show

Links and News

Mock Afghan Villages (Silver City Sun-News 2010)

“Friendly counsel cuts off many foes." -William Shakespeare