56th Range Management Office
Hot Pit Exercise

56th Range Management Office

The 56th Range Management Office is a unit at Luke Air Force Base that oversees the Barry M. Goldwater Range East and Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field and is responsible for more than 200 military, civilian and contract personnel. 

56 RMO is in direct support of the 56th Fighter Wing mission (along with supporting the 355th and 162nd Wings) and fills an essential role in training the world's greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen.

The services provided are unique as it incorporates the mission of one single unit encompassing a variety of skill sets including scientists, operations and airspace specialists. They direct all operational and environment stewardship activities to ensure sustained range operations. They are also responsible for the 11 million acres of airspace assigned to Luke. In resolving airspace and land management issues, they liaise directly with 15 separate Federal and State of Arizona agencies as well as 26 Native American tribes. 

Mr. Chas Buchanan

Phone: (623) 856-7216
E-mail: 56RMO.Public.Affairs@us.af.mil

• Barry M. Goldwater Range East

Established in 1941, the BMGR is located in southwest Arizona, and consists of over 1.7 million acres across Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties. BMGR is divided into the eastern portion managed by the Luke Air Force Base and the western portion managed by the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

The Military Lands Withdrawal Act, Public Law 119-31, renewed the land withdrawal and land management responsibilities from the Department of Interior to the Department of Defense and through 2049.

The BMGR East is the Air Force's largest dedicated training range for U.S. and allied pilots consisting of over 1.08 million acres with a present day value of $963 million.

The location, size, and capacity of the Range, coupled with its year-round flying weather, enables the U.S. and its allies to conduct realistic combat training; including air-to-ground weapons employment, electronic warfare, tactical maneuvering and air support.

• Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field

The GBAFAF is located 65 miles southwest of Luke Air Force Base and four miles south of the town of Gila Bend. The installation encompasses 2,011 acres of land, east of Highway 85. GBAFAF includes an 8,500-foot runway for fixed-wing aircraft and a heliport and it is presently valued at $331 million.

It is a geographically separated unit managed by five civilian government employees who report to the RMO Director.

Prior to 1994, GBAFAF was a self-sustaining auxiliary airfield with residential, commercial, and community support facilities, in addition to the operational facilities of the airfield. The airfield was operated by military, civilian, and contract personnel in support of the BMGR. In October 1994 the Air Force removed many of the buildings on the property, removed all active duty military personnel, and transferred the management and maintenance to civilian contractors.

Today the base’s primary mission is much the same, to support users of the BMGR and serve as a hub for range maintenance activities. Military aircraft routinely use GBAFAF for practicing traffic pattern and emergency simulated engine flameout procedures. The airfield is also used for emergency and precautionary recoveries of military aircraft. In addition to that legacy mission, it is also being utilized as a deployed location for all branches of military service due to its resemblance of a bare base. This gives these units the ability to simulate operations in a deployed location with limited facilities. 

In the future, the goal is to reoptimize GBAFAF as a deployed location and transform it into the USAF’s premier Agile Combat Employment training location in support of Luke’s 2035 strategy.

Range Reader - Quarterly Newsletters

We will be publishing a quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date with our happenings. Make sure to check here quarterly to download your copy.

 Spring 2023 - Volume 1, Issue 1               Summer 2023 - Volume 1, Issue 2               


Fall 2023 - Volume 1, Issue 3



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Stage 1 fire restrictions effective June 6, 2024

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