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Mr. Chas Buchanan
Phone: (623) 856-7216
The 56th Range Management Office oversees the Barry M. Goldwater Range East and Gila Bend Air Force Axillary Field and is responsible for more than 200 military, civilian and contract personnel. The BMGR East is the AF's largest dedicated training range for U.S. and allied pilots consisting of over 1.05 million acres. 56 RMO and the BMGR East is in direct support of the 56th Fighter Wing mission (along with supporting the 355th and 162nd Wings) and is an essential part 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 environment stewardship activities to ensure sustained range operations. They are also responsible for the 11 million acres of airspace assigned to Luke Air Force Base. In resolving airspace and land management issues, they liaise directly with 15 separate Federal and State of Arizona agencies well as 26 Native American tribes.
Did you know that there are parts of our range designated for recreational use? At the moment we have three designated locations on Barry M. Goldwater Range East that we allow recreational activities; Area B, Bender Springs, and the Ajo Air Station.
If you have interest in visiting the range you must first get your permit. Each individual 18 years or older must have a permit prior to entry. Individuals under 18 years must be accompanied at all times by a permitted adult. Place a copy of your permit on the vehicle dashboard and carry a copy on your person at all times when recreating on the BMGR-East, BMGR-West, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and Area A of the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
Each individual must get a new permit each year on or after 1 July. Your permit number will remain the same each year as your original permit number.
All permitted areas may present hazards associated with historic military use and the harsh environment of the Sonoran desert. Visitors are responsible for their own safety when recreating in these areas. Know and follow the rules of the areas you visit.
Interested in visiting one of our sites? Visit: https://luke.isportsman.net/ and sign up for your permit today! If you have any additional questions or are having issues with your existing account please contact: 623-856-7216.
Did you know the 56th Range Management Office hosts tours on the Barry M. Goldwater Range East? If you are interesting in setting up a tour send an email to: 56RMO.Public.Affairs@us.af.mil.
More about tours: The following procedures have been established to ensure compliance with BMGR East Range Safety and Range Procedures. It is critical that these procedures are followed. Failure to do so will restrict access to the BMGR East ranges and could cause cancellation of the scheduled tour.
If you are interested in a tour fill out our tour request form and send it to 56RMO.Public.Affairs@us.af.mil.
Issue: Arizona Commanders Summit (ACS)
Background: The Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-65) transferred the land management function for the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR) from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Defense. Management responsibility was ultimately delegated to the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) for the eastern portion and to the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma for the western portion of the range. The Arizona Commanders Summit was originally established to address issues such as joint utilization and stewardship requirements of the BMGR. The initial membership included the primary users of the BMGR: Luke AFB, MCAS Yuma, Davis-Monthan AFB, and the Arizona Air National Guard. The Commanders quickly realized the benefit of such a forum and expanded the scope of the ACS.
What was done: The ACS provided a forum for Commanders to address issues affecting the BMGR. Commanders recognized that there were many other issues of common concern such as: encroachment, environmental compliance, and community relations issues. As a result, the ACS agreed to expand membership to include all military installations in the State of Arizona. An ACS charter established the mission to: facilitate smooth military operations in Arizona and create a cooperative effort among the commanders of Arizona military organizations to ensure the highest possible level of training operations. The focus of the Summit includes air and ground encroachment, environmental concerns, Native American issues, utilization of special-use airspace, range enhancement programs, community relations, and any other issues Arizona military units may have in common. The Commander of the 56th Fighter Wing serves as Chair and the Commander of MCAS Yuma serves as ViceChair. Meetings are held semi-annually in March and September. Meeting locations are rotated throughout the military facilities in Arizona. The hosting unit presents a unit mission briefing and invites their town mayor which assists in community outreach.
How the mission benefited: Through a cooperative exchange of information, the Summit serves as an avenue for members to learn of other units’ approach to the issues which will assist in a standardized resolution to shared problems. The forum helps to develop a strong sense of unity and cooperation among military organizations across all military services in Arizona. Specific endeavors include:
The ACS is enthusiastically supported by all Arizona military installations and given its success is under review to be similarly situated in other states and regions.
Lessons Learned: The opportunity for Installation Commanders to meet face to face on a regular basis has been instrumental in developing a better understanding of each others military mission and the problems they encounter. The development of a “One Voice” approach to address operational issues such as encroachment, community relations, airspace, and environmental concerns has proven effective. This interaction between Installation Commanders and their staffs has been instrumental in developing joint use of valuable air and ground training assets and airspace.
For more information please contact the 56th Fighter Wing Range Management Office, Luke AFB, Arizona at 623-856-5857 (DSN 896-5857).
BMGR is hosting public meetings to discuss natural resources management on the range including progress made since 2018 and future work planned on the range.You are invited to two public informational meetings for the updating of the 2018 Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan and Public Report for the Barry M. Goldwater Range. You can also review and comment on the BMGR Public Report for 30 days from August 14 to September 12, 2023. Comments on the BMGR Public Report and INRMP Revision can be emailed to:CEMML_INRMPComments@colostate.edu.Meeting Information: Date: August 24, 2023Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.Location: Yuma County Library District Main Library2951 S 21st DriveYuma, AZ 85364
We will be publishing a quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date with our happens. Make sure to check here quarterly to download your copy.
Spring 2023 - Volume 1, Issue 1