Training Requirements

Newer-generation aircraft and weapons have outpaced the current capabilities of the Fallon Ranges. Training is limited to scenarios that only partially resemble what personnel would experience in actual combat, and that limit the extent to which the Navy can replicate enemy capabilities.


To evaluate the Navy’s ability to counter evolving current and future threats worldwide, the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, naval aviation’s warfare authority, initiated a study to evaluate the effectiveness of existing aviation training requirements and assess the need to reconfigure the Fallon Ranges.

Through the study, referred to as the Ninety Days to Combat Required Training Capabilities Study, the Navy identified significant gaps in aviation weapons training. At the same time, the U.S. Navy SEALs identified similar gaps in ground mobility training and actions needed to support such training at the Fallon Ranges. The analysis showed that the current size of the Fallon Ranges severely restricts the extent to which the Navy can use its various weapons systems to train.

Current aircraft and weapons require a far greater amount of training space than previous aircraft and weapons required. While older aircraft flew at lower altitudes (10,000 feet), approached targets from close distances (4 to 5 miles away), and required a smaller impact area for weapons, modern aircraft fly at higher altitudes (30,000 feet), release weapons from 10 to 12 miles away, and require a larger weapons safety area during training for containment.

 

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The boundaries of the Fallon Ranges have not changed to accommodate for the capabilities of modern weapons. Modern weapons can reach targets at greater distances than ever before, but current range boundaries limit this type of training. Expanding the range boundaries would allow military personnel to train in a realistic, and in some instances 360-degree, combat scenario.

 

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