State input, Regional hearing Portland Oregon for Idaho Page: 4 of 55
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endless opportunities for supersonic air-to-air engagements. Combine this rare asset with
the 110,000-acre Saylor Creek drop range and the new Juniper Butte drop range with
realistic industrial complexes, surface-to-air missiles, tanks and trucks, and our pilots are
engaged in a dress rehearsal for real world missions. Further, in these dense industrial
target areas of the Complex, we are able to provide air-to-ground precision weapon
training and can provide an urban training environment for the Army and Special
Operation Forces. Adding to this, we are able to critique and score our training missions
through the Mountain Home Range Complex Cowboy Control. This system controls the
Range Complex using multiple radars and links Mountain Home AFB to Gowen Field
and provides invaluable computerized debriefing capability for the joint training that
occurs on the range.
In addition to the endless training and expansion opportunities at MHAFB, there are
virtually no encroachment problems on the range. First, the State of Idaho and Mountain
Home Air Force Base have such an outstanding record of environmental stewardship that
species on the range have avoided being listed. I must say, the conservation efforts inside
the range are far more effective than outside the range. Today, no environmental
encroachment problems affect any of our training. Second, as alluded to, Mountain Home
Air Force Base is located in a remote location -- 10 miles from the closest city and 43
miles south of Boise. Never will you hear anyone in the community complain about
"noise" problems, because the City of Mountain Home is located well outside military
As you know, the proposed realignment for MHAFB is to eventually shift the F-15Cs and
the F-16s out in FY11, while bringing in additional F-15Es in FY09 to complement the
current squadron of F-15Es based at MHAFB. No doubt, it is my hope that this
realignment is part of a bigger plan to bring future weapons systems, like the F-22 and
JSF, to Mountain Home in the very near future. These weapon systems will benefit
greatly from this "National Asset". However, in the meantime, I want the Commission to
consider the following:
Mountain Home AFB has been home to five different weapon systems at one time, and
has been a tremendous training opportunity for all of our military personnel assigned
there over the years. Each and every day, our crews have the very unique and rare
opportunity to train with, or against, mixed forces. As you know, this mixed-training
opportunity is something that rarely occurs and usually only occurs at large training
exercises such as "Red Flag." The current mix of aircraft combined with the Mountain
Home Range Complex and its full array of modern realistic targets, electronic threat
emitters, and airspace capable of supersonic air-to-air engagements, provide the perfect
atmosphere and training environment for mixed aircraft and multi-aircraft exercises.
Combined, these facts make the aircrews trained at MHAFB more experienced and ready
for deployment and combat. Again, most "wings" only get this type of exposure during a
"Red Flag Exercise" or actual deployment.
All this being said, the value of joint training and exposure is hard to quantify. However,
it is definitely counter to the actual dollars being saved by going to a single weapons
Here’s what’s next.
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State input, Regional hearing Portland Oregon for Idaho, legal document, July 9, 2005; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc16752/m1/4/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.