Acquired by the War Department in 1943, the military first used NWSTF Boardman for aerial bombing and gunnery training. Ownership was transferred to the Navy in 1958. Aircraft from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington and the Oregon National Guard regularly used NWSTF Boardman for aerial bombing until 1996. Navy and Oregon National Guard aircraft used, and continue to use, a portion of the facility for aerial gunnery practice.
Present-day NWSTF Boardman consists of more than 47,000 acres used by the Navy, Oregon National Guard and other agencies to meet their training and testing requirements.