As many of my faithful readers know, I am a big supporter of the military. With several years of active duty service under my belt, I follow military and defense issues closely.
Readers may remember my commentaries about the plans to expand the Powder River Training Complex (training airspace) into southeastern Montana. If not, you can catch them HERE and HERE.
To catch you up, the Air Force proposal would stretch south of Interstate 94 from a few miles west of Bismarck, North Dakota, to east of Billings, Montana, and north of Interstate 90. It’s a great area in which our military pilots could train – with plenty of open airspace and low population. Here’s a MAP(PDF).
According to a press release (PDF) from the Air Combat Command:
The following locations have the potential of being affected by the proposal’s overhead training airspace: Montana–Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations and the counties of Big Horn, Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, Treasure, and Yellowstone.
I am 100% in favor of this plan and believe that it could pay big dividends down the road for future military aircraft missions in Montana, be it from the military or from a defense company looking for a place to train. South Dakota’s leaders, led by Senator John Thune, are all on-board supporting the expansion.
Montana’s leaders are not supporting the expansion and, in my opinion, have all but screwed the state in ever getting a flying mission (or maybe even keeping the one they have). Continue reading