Air Force

March 11, 2014

Goldwater Range big part of Luke mission

Tags:
56th Range Management Office

An HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter with the Alaska Air National Guard lands at the Barry M. Goldwater Range April 19, 2010, in the Sonoran Desert.

The Barry M. Goldwater complex in southwestern Arizona is the Air Force’s premier training range. Established in 1941 to train military pilots in air-to-air and air-to-ground operations and tactics, BMGR remains vital and active.

More than 60,000 sorties are flown annually to develop and maintain combat readiness for U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and allied nation pilots. The BMGR is ideally situated within the unrefueled flight radius of 12 military installations and U.S. Pacific Fleet carriers.

Among all Defense Department installations and ranges, the BMGR is the third largest with 1.7 million acres. The range’s vast size facilitates simultaneous training activities at nine air-to-ground and two air-to-air ranges. Combining 2.8 million acres of restricted entry airspace and adjacent 2.7 million acres of the Sells Military Operations Area, the range complex totals nearly 98,000 cubic miles of unencumbered space where aviators practice realistic offensive and defensive combat maneuvers and engage simulated battlefield targets on the ground.

The BMGR is managed jointly by Luke Air Force Base for the eastern complex and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma for the western portion. At BMGR East, military users drop full-scale live ordnance on five pin-point targets, and employ inert training munitions at 60 other target arrays. Historically, 98 percent of all weapons dropped are inert practice bombs. Most of the land is used as a safety buffer for low-flying fighter aircraft and weapons safety zones.

Humans have inhabited the land now within BMGR for nearly 10,000 years. More than 70 years of dedication to military training has insulated the land from development that is incompatible with the military mission. Only about 10 percent of the land is impacted by training, targets, munitions clearance, roads and other support areas. The remaining 90 percent is relatively undisturbed Sonoran Desert. The buffer areas provide refuge-like conditions for plants and animals including endangered species such as Sonoran pronghorn, lesser long-nosed bat, and flat-tailed horned lizard.

The BMGR complex, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, and Mexico’s Pinacate Biosphere Reserve comprise one of the largest protected landscapes in North America. Natural and cultural resource protection helps sustain BMGR East’s military readiness capacity. Air Force biologists, archaeologists, and environmental planners trained in the ecology and culture of southwestern Arizona develop and implement comprehensive resource management programs that achieve a balance between the military mission and resource protection. For example, before munitions are dropped, trained biologists determine if pronghorn are present within 1 or 1.5 kilometers (for training or high explosive weapons, respectively) of intended targets. If pronghorn are present, pilots engage alternate targets.

Although Air Force directives restrict public access to target and buffer areas, specific portions of the BMGR complex may be visited after obtaining a visitor permit. Visitors to the BMGR must comply with regulations such that they maintain their personal safety, do not conflict with military training and protect fragile resources.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin