US Air Force Requests Millions for Construction Funding to Improve Aircraft Ranges

In its fiscal year 2018 budget request, the US Air Force (USAF) has requested funding for construction to improve aircraft ranges in Utah and Nevada. This would allow the USAF to utilize the full range of capabilities available to F-35A aircrews, said USAF Chief of Staff General David Goldfein and Service Secretary Heather Wilson in testimony prepared for Congress.

The Air Force has asked for $28 million in fiscal year 2018 for military construction to build a Consolidated Mission Control Centre (CMCC) at the Utah Test and Training Center (UTTR.)

The funding would allow the USAF to test, evaluate or train four events on range at a single time at a secure mission facility. The center would also enable the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) multirole aircraft, F-22 Raptor multirole fighter, and other long range weapons programs to “conduct simultaneous test and training events on the range without compromising safety or security of the event,” reports Janes.

The new construction would require demolition of three existing facilities.

If they are granted funding by Congressional appropriators, USAF expects to have a single contract award in August and to begin construction in September.

The USAF requested $61 million for construction of two new facilities at Nellis Air Force Base, and $23 million in funding for Red Flag, which provides an air-to-air combat training exercise program at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada.


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