About the Fallon Range Training Complex

Fallon Range Training Complex History and Distinction

The Fallon Range Training Complex hosts training for aviation and ground military units necessary to ensure military readiness for the defense and security of the United States and its interests abroad.

The Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC) has served as a vital and irreplaceable asset for training naval aviation forces for more than 75 years. The FTRC includes four Bravo (B) ranges and the Dixie Valley Training Area. The Bravo ranges, B‐16, B‐17, B‐19, and B‐20, are used for air‐to‐ground munitions delivery, close air support, tactical ground mobility, and live‐fire training. The Dixie Valley Training Area is typically used for convoy training, fixed‐wing and helicopter night-vision device training, helicopter mountain‐flying training, and combat search and rescue activities. The ranges are used to train deploying air and ground units in a realistic environment and prepare them for overseas operations.

The FRTC is used extensively by the Navy to conduct mission training in the areas of advanced strike warfare, air warfare, electronic warfare, and tactical ground mobility, including live-fire training. The complex is the only location where an entire carrier air wing, consisting of more than 60 aircraft and associated support crews, can work together and train. In fact, every Navy carrier air wing trains on the FRTC prior to deployment.

The FRTC is an ideal training environment due to its location, land area, and military airspace. Its unique characteristics include suitable weather for year-round training and designated airspace for supersonic training.

The Existing Fallon Range Training Complex

The complex is a training area made up of 12,256 square nautical miles of airspace and approximately 232,000 acres of Navy-managed land. Land areas include target areas for both live and inert ordnance release, radio and camera instrumentation and training systems, and electronic warfare training systems. The Fallon Ranges are supported logistically by Naval Air Station Fallon.

Current Training Activities

At the FRTC, the Navy trains both naval air and ground forces in all phases of pre-deployment combat training, including basic, intermediate, and advanced training phases, and at the individual, unit, and integrated levels.

The Navy’s primary mission for the FRTC is to train aviation units that deploy on aircraft carriers worldwide in all mission areas associated with “integrated strike warfare.” The objective of the “integrated” phase is to train aircrews working with individual aircraft types (such as the F-35 Lightning II, F/A-18 Super Hornet, MH-60 Seahawk, E-2 Hawkeye, and EA-18G Growler) to work in combination with other aircrews and aircraft types in situations similar to real-life combat.

A secondary mission for the FRTC is to train individual aviation units in the intermediate and advanced-level phases of combat. Training is provided through courses called the Advanced Readiness Phase (ARP) of training. Each aircraft type has an ARP course. For example, there is a Strike Fighter ARP for the F/A-18 and a Helicopter ARP for the MH-60 Seahawk.

An additional mission of the FRTC is to train weapons and tactics instructors in the combat tactics associated with their aircraft type. Upon graduation, the instructors return to their fleet squadrons and teach these tactics and techniques to the rest of the squadron aircrew. The most well-known of these courses is the TOPGUN fighter weapons school.

The FRTC is also home to a tactical ground mobility course for naval special warfare personnel. As an intensive, four-week training course, Navy SEALs learn the capabilities and limitations of their vehicles, as well as basic maintenance and tactical driving skills. SEALs also take a joint close air support course to become certified as joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs). They will integrate with aviation units overseas in support of the joint warfare mission called close air support.

Public Safety

Keeping the public and military personnel safe is of utmost importance to the Navy. To ensure safety while allowing for realistic training, the Navy implements multiple safety procedures:

  • Restrict public access from hazardous ordnance activities (the Bravo ranges are fenced [range expansion areas will be fenced as the modernization is implemented over the next few years] and have warning signs posted).
  • Ensure target areas are unoccupied prior to ordnance activities; ranges used for these activities are closed and restricted from public use.
  • Conduct routine cleanup of training ranges.
  • Work with local communities on compatible land use development.

Economic Contributions

In 2015, Naval Air Station Fallon generated more than $517 million in total economic benefit for Churchill, Lyon, and Washoe counties. Economic benefits come from operations, contracts, payroll, and visitor spending.

SUBSCRIBE to receive updates and announcements