56th Range Management Office
Hot Pit Exercise

56th Range Management Office

The 56th Range Management Office oversees Barry M. Goldwater Range East and Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field and is responsible for more than 200 military, civilian and contract personnel. 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. 56 RMO and 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 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 Barry M. Goldwater Range is located in southwest Arizona, and consists of over 1.7 million acres spreading 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 of 1999 renewed the land withdrawal through 2024 and transferred land management responsibilities from the Department of Interior to the Department of Defense. We are in the process of extending the withdrawal beyond 2024. 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

Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field is located approximately 65 miles southwest of Luke Air Force Base, and approximately four miles south of the town of Gila Bend. The airfield encompasses 1,885 acres of land, east of Highway 85. GBAFAF includes an 8,500-foot runway for fixed-wing aircraft and a heliport that can host six aircraft. 

Prior to 1994, GBAFAF was a self-sustaining active duty military base 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 Barry M. Goldwater Range East. In October 1994, the Air Force closed most of the facility, removed all active military personnel, and transferred the management and maintenance of the facility to civilian contractors. Today, its primary mission is the same as when it was an active duty base; to support users of the BMGR, and serve as a hub for range maintenance activities. Military aircraft routinely use GBAFAF for practicing traffic patterns and emergency simulated engine flameout procedures. The airfield is also used for emergency and precautionary recoveries of military aircraft when the aircraft is unable to make it to their home station. Another use the base sees, is for various readiness and deployment exercises, to include Agile Combat Employment or ACE. GBAFAF is utilized by most all branches of the US military and even some foreign military. It is essential when it comes to maintaining our nation’s national defense and the 1.08 million acres of the BMGR.




AZ Commanders Submit


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         


Range Management Office News