09/28/06 — Bombing range opens at Dare County facility

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Bombing range opens at Dare County facility

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 28, 2006 1:51 PM

Military personnel will get a chance to practice skills necessary in the War on Terror thanks to the opening of a new bombing range in Dare County, Seymour Johnson officials said this week.

The new facility will allow armed forces to train to be better prepared for urban missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, which require them to pinpoint targets in populated areas, officials said.

The Military Operations in Urban Terrain target facility was unveiled earlier this week at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base-operated range.

Lt. Col. William Pinter, 4th Fighter Wing Operations Support Squadron director of operations, said the complex is designed to simulate several blocks of an urban environment and will be used to train aircrews on missions like the ones they might face while serving overseas.

"The MOUT is a tremendous training resource for increasing U.S. combat capability in the most demanding combat environment -- urban operations," he said in a news release.

Base officials said the facility will likely get use from the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines as they train for current and future combat operations.

Pinter said the $1.2 million facility, which covers nearly 9 acres and is located on the Air Force section of the bombing range, is a great addition and innovative design.

"The MOUT design and construction is the largest and greatest improvement to the Dare County Bombing Range in more than 40 years," he said.

Officials said they do not anticipate an increase in air traffic to occur as a result of the opening.

Opened in 1964, the bombing range is a remote facility used as to train fighters from Seymour Johnson. The nearly 50,000-acre site is located on the Carolina coast, about 20 miles west of Stumpy Point and 16 miles east of Englehard on the Dare County mainland.