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County Supports Air Force Training Range Expansion

March 20, 2014, 1:25 PM

County Supports Air Force Training Range Expansion
RAPID CITY, SD -

County officials in western South Dakota have voted in favor of a proposal to nearly triple the airspace where some U.S. Air Force pilots can train for combat.

Pennington County commissioners will be sending a letter to the Air Force showing support for the expansion.

The proposal calls for broadening the area where B-1 Bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base can train. The new area would stretch for about 28,000 miles across South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

A commissioner says pilots will be better prepared thanks to the extra training the expansion would allow for.

At least one county has expressed concerns over the proposal. The Federal Aviation Administration has the final say on the plan.

Training happens about 240 days a year.

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