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

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 

Balance, key to successful AF life

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy...
 
 

Avoid claustrophobic career

I have heard many times that education is the great equalizer. The Air Force takes in people of all races, cultures and backgrounds and unifies them under simple beliefs and values. The enlisted force structure serves as the common language for force development, and education plays a major role. We all know education creates opportunity,...
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Senior Airman Brian Comia 56th Force Support Squadron Services journeyman Hometown: San Lorenzo, California Years in service: Three Family: Wife, Phoebe; daughters, Sophia and Isabella Inspirations: My family Goals: My short-term goal is to make staff sergeant next year Greatest feat: Becoming a U.S. citizen and having the pleasure and honor of serving this country...
 




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