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.


 
 

 
Pg-3

Honorary commanders bid farewell

Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks to the outgoing honorary commanders Sept. 17 at Club Five Six. The Honorary Commander Program fosters relationships between local civic and business leaders and base p...
 
 

News Briefs September 26, 2014

CPTS closed The finance office is closed Monday and Thursday. It will be open regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. For more information, call 1st Lt. William Liaw at 623-856-6035. Comprehensive Airman Fitness Comprehensive Airman Fitness Training is Oct. 14 through 16. It is a three-day course for Airmen...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Senior Airman Jordan Provencher-Olaes 56th Communications Squadron Network infrastructure technician   Hometown: Chandler, Arizona Years in service: Two Family: Parents, Bridget and Rustico Olaes; brothers, Devon and Ethan Provencher Inspirations: My parents gave me the strength and courage to strive in all areas of life; CS leaders’ mentorship has inspired me to be the very...
 

 
Airman 1st Class Cory Gossett

POW/MIA day commemorated at Luke

Airman 1st Class Cory Gossett Members of the 56th Fighter Wing Honor Guard perform the folding of the flag at the conclusion of the POW/MIA retreat ceremony Sept. 19 at Luke Air Force Base. A warm, breezy late summer afternoon ...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Luke Air Force Base held a ceremony to honor America’s prisoners of war and missing in action Sept. 19. There are 83,189 personnel still unaccounted for from conflicts dating back to WWII, according to the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office. These numbers represent countless American families who grieve because they do not...
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

TAP changes to better prepare Airmen for civilian life

Senior Airman Grace Lee Dawn Reynolds, American Veterans representative, speaks to a Transition Assistance Program class. The Luke Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center Transition Assistance Program has recently und...
 




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