Air Force training complex moves forward - KOTA Territory News

Air Force training complex moves forward

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A proposed expansion for a B1 training complex is moving forward.  The Air Force's Powder River Training Complex would increase the air space by two-thirds and add three Military Operations Areas, or MOA's. It would stretch between Billings, Montana, Bismarck, North Dakota, Northwest South Dakota and Northeast Wyoming.

Lieutenant Colonel Allen Barksdale said it would allow combat air crews to get their required training close to home.  

"This is very important to ensure that our combat crews have the training that they are required, so when they go out, when they are called to go out into harms way they can complete the mission and come back safely," said Lieutenant Colonel Allen Barksdale.

Currently there is a comment period until April. Over the past five years, about 25 people have filed complaints regarding current B-1 bomber operations. Ranchers and private pilots have been outspoken in opposing the training complex. Some ranchers are concerned with over flights impacting their operations, especially during calving season. 

Barksdale said if the Federal Aviation Administration approves this, flights could be in the new air space as early as late this year.

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