• Expansion of Training Area to Bolster Ellsworth AFB0

    A massive expansion of a training area used by B-52 and B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., is close to obtaining federal approval following a six-year review process, Sen. John Thune said this week. Expansion of the Powder River Training Complex will improve the Air Force’s training capability. Consolidation of far-flung training flights also could save the service an estimated $20 million annually in fuel costs, reported the Billings Gazette. The expansion will quadruple the size of the existing airspace to an area of about 20 million acres northwest of Rapid City and spanning parts of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota …

  • Expansion of Northern Flight Training Area Provokes Local Opposition0

    An Air Force plan to expand a military flight training area for bombers over parts of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas is drawing opposition from local officials concerned about the impact of increased flight activity. The Air Force says it needs to expand the Powder River Training Complex to 28,000 square miles for use by B-1 bombers based at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and B-52 bombers at Minot AFB, N.D., reported the Billings Gazette. The move would cut training costs by limiting the need for the aircraft to fly to Utah and Nevada. The expansion is critical to preserving the B-1 mission at Ellsworth, according to South Dakota Sen. John Thune …