The Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC), located in the high desert of northern Nevada approximately 65 miles east of Reno, NV, is a set of well defined geographic areas encompassing a land area and multiple air spaces. It is used primarily for training operations, with some capability to support research and development, and test and evaluation of military hardware, personnel, tactics, munitions, explosives, and electronic combat.
The geographic scope encompasses NAS Fallon and near-by range training areas, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rights-of-way, and 13,000 square miles of Special Use Airspace (SUA). The SUA is comprised of the 11 Military Operations Areas (MOAs), nine Restricted areas, ten Air Traffic Control Assigned Areas (ATCAAs), and an Aerial Refueling Route (ARR). Additionally, 17 Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Military Training Routes (MTRs), three helicopter MTRs, and 14 Low Level Visual Flight Rules (VFR) MTRs transit, terminate in, or are in close proximity to the FRTC. The FRTC encompasses over 234,124 acres of land area including the Bravo-16, Bravo-17, Bravo-19, Bravo-20, Dixie Valley, and Shoal Site training areas.
The Navy administers only 234,124 acres of the 6.5 million acres of land under the FRTC airspace, while the remainder consists largely of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Oakland and Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) control the airspace within the FRTC, which in turn delegate scheduling and coordination authority to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC).
The FRTC is particularly significant to the Department of Defense (DoD) because of its unique training and tactics development capabilities, extensive instrumentation and target sets, live ordnance impact areas, and its capability to provide Basic, Integration and Sustainment Phase training of Naval forces in the Fleet Readiness Training Plan (FRTP).
The mission of the FRTC is to support Navy and Marine Corps tactical training by providing the most realistic strike and integrated air warfare training available, maintaining and operating facilities, and providing services and equipment to support the U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Atlantic, and other operating forces. Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) operations are supported on a not to interfere basis.
Bravo-16. The B-16 area has typically saline soil characterized by extensive alkali flats and areas of patchy desert sand and sparsely vegetated by sagebrush. Located south of the Sheckler Reservoir and nine miles southwest of NAS Fallon at an elevation of 3,942 feet, B-16 includes two conventional bull’s-eye targets. The West Conventional Weapons Bull provides night lighting; the East Conventional Weapons Bull does not. At both targets, MK-76/BDU-33, MK-106/BDU-48, 2.75 FFAR (practice), and LUU-2 Paraflares are allowed.
Bravo-17. The most frequently used range at FRTC, B-17, is located west of Fairview Peak and south of U.S. Highway 50 and is contained within the Fairview NSAWC working area. The B-17 terrain is made up of the following: alkali flats in the northern section giving way to a rocky terrain along the west and east foothills, and patchy areas of desert sand sparsely vegetated by sagebrush along a gently sloping foothill at the southern extreme. The range is flanked on the west by the Sand Spring Mountains and State Highway 839 and on the east by Fairview Peak.
Located 25 miles east-southeast of NAS Fallon at an elevation of 4,153 feet, B-17 is split into an east (B-17E) and west (B-17W) component. These areas are further divided into a total of four surface areas. The B-17W target complex is comprised of No Drop Area (NDA) targets. The NDA targets include an Army compound target; Scud missile target, laser billboard; a bridge target; the West Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricant (POL) Facility target; and a motor pool target. Ordnance expenditure is forbidden in this area.
B-17E includes the Light Inert Impact Area, the Heavy Inert Impact Area, and the Live Impact Area. The Light Inert Impact Area includes a conventional weapons bull’s-eye target, a strafe target, an airfield complex, an air defense site, the East POL Facility, a Headquarters compound, the East Power Plant target, a helicopter tank target, a tank convoy and cave entrance target, a Scud missile launcher, a convoy target, a command and control center, a Close Air Support (CAS) target that simulates a below-ground POL, and another CAS target that represents a below-ground building. The targets in the Light Inert Impact Area collectively accommodate expenditure of the following ordnance types: MK-76/BDU-33, MK-106/BDU-48, Laser Guided Training Round (LGTR), BDU-45, LUU-2 Paraflares, and 2.75 FFAR (practice). Targets in the Light Inert Impact Area are Weapons Impact Scoring System (WISS) scored.
Forward Air Controller (FAC) platforms are designated areas from which approved artillery, small arms, and mortars are fired in support of CAS exercises. Each FAC position allows an unobstructed view of associated target areas. There is one FAC platform located within B-17 at the western edge of the Light Inert Area. There is also a helicopter Landing Zone (LZ) in addition to the DZ Bad Monkey within B-17 to support CAS training
The Heavy Inert Impact Area is in the northeastern corner of the B-17 complex. This area includes three targets: an Industrial Site target, a SAM site target, and a missile assembly target. All three of these targets accommodate expenditure of MK-76/BDU-33, MK-106/BDU-48, LGTR, MK-81 thru MK-84 practice ordnance, BDU-45, LUU-2 Paraflares, and 2.75 FFAR (practice). Targets in the Heavy Inert Impact Area are Weapons Impact Scoring System (WISS) scored.
The High Explosive impact (HEI) area is located in the southeastern section of the B-17 complex and allows expenditure of high explosive ordnance. The HEI area contains numerous tank vehicle targets and a camouflaged cave entrance. Targets in the HEI area are WISS scored.
Bravo-19. The B-19 area is comprised of alkali flats with areas of patchy desert sand sparsely vegetated by sagebrush. This target complex, which lies 16 nm south-southeast of NAS Fallon at an elevation of 3,882 feet, consists of a strafe target consisting of an acoustic transducer located behind an earthen berm, a HEI area with three distinct clusters of four M60 tank targets each, and a helicopter strafe area comprised of 14 different light armored vehicles. Night lighting is provided for the bull target. The HEI area is also designated as an alternate ordnance jettison area. There are two FAC Platforms in B-19 to support CAS training, one on the tower road and one at the east tower.
The targets within B-19 accommodate expenditure of MK-76/BDU-33, MK-106, BDU-48, LGTR, 2.75 FFAR (practice), LUU-2 Paraflares, BDU-45, .20mm TP, .25mm TP, 30mm TP, 7.62mm, 5.56mm, .50 cal (no HEI), 5.0 Zuni (practice), MK-80 series (live and practice Laser Guided Bombs [LGB]), 20mm HEI, and MK-77 (Napalm).
An open range for small arms (up to .50 cal) training is available at B-19 with firing lines located 50 feet north of the center tower area. The range includes a pistol/shotgun range, popup targets and a rifle/machine gun range.
Bravo-20. The B-20 target range is located in the northeastern section of the Carson Sink and lies within the Lone Rock NSAWC working area. Lone Rock, an igneous rock formation approximately 140 feet tall, is the center of this target area. The B-20 area is 31 nm north-northeast of NAS Fallon at an elevation of 4,040 feet at Lone Rock. The adjacent flats are at 3,890 feet above MSL. Drainage in the area surrounding this range is very poor, often leading to extensive areas of shallow surface water surrounding many of the target sites after heavy rains.
The Light Inert Impact Areas within B-20 include:
• Two conventional bull’s-eye targets with night lighting and WISS scoring
• Laser evaluation capabilities
• A laser-guided bomb target
• Two strafe targets
• A submarine target
• A broadcasting facility
• A radar van target
• Area 52, a simulated Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) facility
The Heavy Inert Impact Area within B-20 consists of an industrial site comprised of 22 large metal targets of various geometric designs. Adjacent to the Heavy Inert Impact Area is the Live Impact Area, which includes the Lone Rock target within an alkali flat, and the Hellfire target, a single, light-armored vehicle target. The primary ordnance jettison area at Fallon is the B-20 HE impact area.
The five Laser Target Areas (LTAs) aboard B-20 include the Live Impact Area, a submarine target, a laser-guided bull, and the North and South Conventional Bull targets. Delivery of inert Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is only authorized within the boundaries of the B-20 target range. The only authorized target for practice JDAM expenditure is the radar van target (B-20-12), which includes Sheridan Tank-1, Sheridan Tank-2, Sheridan Tank-3, and the Tactical Fuel Truck.
The targets within B-20 accommodate expenditure of MK-76/BDU-33, MK-106, BDU-48, LGTR, 2.75 FFAR (practice), LUU-2 Paraflares, BDU-45, .20mm TP, .25mm TP, 30mm TP, 7.62mm, .50 cal (no HEI), 5.0 Zuni (practice), MK-80 series (live and practice LGB), MK-77 (Napalm), JDAM, and AGM-114 (Hellfire).
Dixie Valley Training Area
The capability to provide forces with CSAR and non-ordnance CAS at FRTC is provided by approximately 80,000 acres of Navy-managed land within Dixie Valley. Four sub-areas make up the Dixie Valley training area:
• Leisy Ground Training Area
• Dixie Valley Settlement North
• Dixie Valley Settlement South
• Horse Creek
Dixie Valley Settlement South, situated on the valley floor, and the mountainous Horse Creek area, are the most frequently used areas within the Dixie Valley training area.
The 11 target clusters within the Dixie Valley training area are non-ordnance targets; lasing and ordnance drops are not authorized. The majority of these targets are found within Dixie Valley Settlement South, including Fort Apache–a 100,000 square foot complex of buildings, tracked and wheeled vehicles, tents, and a firing base for two 8-inch howitzers.
Within the Dixie North airspace working area, the Gabbs North MOA overlays the Dixie Valley Settlement and Horse Creek. The Gabbs North MOA extends from 100 feet AGL to FL180 but excludes restricted area R-4816N extending from 1,500 feet AGL to but not including FL180. Helicopter landings are permitted in the Navy-owned land within Horse Creek and Dixie Valley Settlement North and South at the aircrew’s discretion.
NSW and CSAR training operations are conducted on the 2,560-acre Shoal Site training range. Located south of US Highway 50 and west of B-17, the Shoal Site is public land withdrawn by the Department of Energy (DOE). The Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1999 authorized a secondary withdrawal by the Navy for military use on the surface position of the DOE site.
Small Arms Training Range
Target range B-19 contains a small arms training area. This area includes a pistol/shotgun range, a zero range, an automated-record fire range, and a rifle/machine gun range. The rifle/machine gun range accommodates M2, M60, Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), and Sniper rifle firing. Munitions calibers authorized for use here include:
• 12 gauge Shotgun
• .22 cal
• .357 cal
• .38 cal
• .30 cal
• .44 cal
• .45 cal
• .50 cal
• 40mm PR/TR B546
Electronic Warfare Complex (EWC)
The Fallon EWC consists of a series of pre-approved fixed and mobile site locations spread through most of the FRTC as depicted in Figure 2-6. The fixed sites are centered in the Dixie Valley, 23 nm east of NAS Fallon at an elevation of 4,170 feet, which is characterized as high desert, moderately vegetated by sagebrush and a variety of high desert type flora. The EWC integrates with TACTS and R-4816 to provide a variety of EC training capabilities. EC services and strike/attack scenarios can be customized for specific mission training and include both fixed and mobile threat capabilities. The system supports specialized EC training, such as CSAR helicopter penetration and reconnaissance training, and provides real-time and post-engagement feedback. The EWC assets include SAM/AAA simulators; a command, control and communication network and emulator; search radar systems; and Electronic Support Measures/Electronic Countermeasures (ESM/ECM) systems.
NSAWC Working Areas
For safety and training efficiency, FRTC airspace is subdivided into NSAWC Working Areas. Though not strictly SUA, these areas can be scheduled only through NSAWC. The eight primary NSAWC working areas and their respective subdivisions are:
• Berlin East/West, High/Low
• Callaghan North/South
• Cortez North/South, High/Low
• Dixie North/South, High/Low
• Edwards North/South, High/Low
• Lone Rock
The ‘Low’ subdivisions encompass airspace below 10,000 feet MSL, while the ‘High’ sub-areas extend from 11,000 feet MSL to the top of the MOA boundary. One or more of these areas can be scheduled as required. The NSAWC working area boundaries are shown in Figure 2-5.
The eight primary working areas can be grouped into three major combined areas–NSAWC 1, NSAWC 2, and CAS 17/19. NSAWC 1 includes Lone Rock (including R-4813A), Dixie North, Edwards North, Cortez, Callaghan North, and Stillwater Corridor. NSAWC 2 consists of Fairview (including R-4804A), Dixie South, Berlin, Kingston, O’Toole, Shoshone, Middlegate, Edwards South, Callaghan South, and R-4812. NSAWC 1/2 are designed to provide support for training events involving 6 or more aircraft that require significant lateral dispersion. Scheduled together, the NSAWC 1/2 areas can be utilized jointly in COMMODORE events, which involve 12 or more aircraft. COMMODORE is an airspace and communications scheduling package that provides blanket airspace clearance for large-scale exercises. The area covered by the COMMODORE airspace clearance includes NSAWC 1 and NSAWC 2. The third major combined working area is CAS 17/19, which includes Dixie South, B-17 or B-19, R-4812, and Berlin West.
Four corridors, each 5 nm in width, have also been defined by NSAWC to facilitate safe and orderly transit within the FRTC airspace. The four corridors are named Middlegate, O’Toole, Shoshone, and Stillwater.