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Falcon Range
3423'N 9824'W

Falcon Range is located on the Quanah Range Impact Area approximately fifteen miles west of the Fort Sill cantonment area. It is an Air Force Reserve Facility - the parent organization is the 301st Fighter Wing - but it supports all services. Army, Air force, Navy, Marines, and Euro-NATO nations use the facility to train pilots and ground forces in the use of tactical airpower. Aviation units fly about 2500 sorties per year. Ground forces visit on average every few weeks for several days at a time. Fixed wing air operations at Fort Sill support the training of personnel in formal artillery school courses, operational joint force training, and service-unique continuation training.

There are numerous targets in the fixed wing target area that complicate identification of the correct target. Prominent terrain features are available to orient the pilots and should be used. Entry into the impact area is further identified by a north-south gravel road which borders the western edge of the impact area. There are numerous 55 gallon drums painted white to assist aircrews in identifying entry into the impact area. Separate live and inert targets are located in the fixed wing target area approximately 3000m east from the impact area boundary.

Munitions approved for use used on the Fort Sill Range include MK-82 (500 lb. general purpose bomb), BDU-50 (500 lb. inert bombs), BDU-33 (25 lb. practice bomb with spotting charge), 30mm/20mm practice rounds or the service equivalent. 30mm/20mm HEI will be approved on a case by case basis; however, 20mm HEI case telescoping ammunition will not be used.

F-16s belonging to the 138FW, Tulsa, OK fly General Purpose missions. The unit is doing a lot of Night Vision Goggle training. Rivers MOA is scheduled by the 138FW but is a long way for them to get to. Eureka MOA is more available now since the 184FW converted from fighters to bombers, freeing up the airspace for other users. Smoky Hill range is the range most commonly used by the 138FW for their air-to-ground training requirements and it also has the advantage of Bison MOA adjacent to the range. Razorback Range in Arkansas and Falcon Range in Oklahoma are used occasionally.

On November 10, 1997, the FAA proposed to amend 14 CFR part 73 to raise the upper limit of R-5601D and to expand the times and change the days of designation for R-5601D and R-5601E (62 FR 60463). This amendment to 14 CFR part 73 raises the upper limit of R-5601D from the current 16,500 feet MSL to FL 400. The United States Air Force (USAF) requested this change to R-5601D in order to contain high-altitude jet aircraft bombing patterns in the Falcon Range target area located in R-5601C. Although R-5601C airspace extends to FL 400, there is not enough maneuvering airspace to allow jet aircraft to climb to the required delivery altitudes before final approach into the target area. Raising the upper limit of R-5601D to FL 400 will alleviate this airspace problem and allow for quality high altitude/high angle bomb delivery training, a USAF pilot requirement for ``mission ready'' status. Additionally, this rule expands the times of designation and days of operation for R-5601D and R-5601E from the current ``Sunrise to sunset, Tuesday through Saturday; other times by NOTAM'' to ``Sunrise to 2200, Monday-Friday; other times by NOTAM.'' This expansion in the time of designation is necessary to accommodate a change in flying requirements by both the 301st Fighter Wing, Carswell Field, TX, and the 88th Training Wing at Sheppard AFB, TX. Although there will still be occasional weekend flying, most activity will occur during weekdays. The extension of flying times beyond sunset is necessary due to the USAF training requirement to fly night sorties. This action will not alter the horizontal boundaries or the designated purpose of the restricted areas.

The Quanah Special Effects Field, an area bounded by coordinates ND 261359 / 261369 / 271369 / 271359, is reserved for use by the TEXCOM Fire Support Test Directorate for determination of special test effects. This area will not be used as an impact area by any other unit at Fort Sill.

Fort Sill offers some serious terrain on their Quanah Range just south of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The rugged rocky outcrops, oak forests, and mixed grass prairies of the Wichita's create excellent habitat for herds of buffalo, elk and longhorn cattle. The preservation of this unique system of grasslands and prairie herds is the mission of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The Quanah Parker Visitor Center offers visitors a chance to learn more of the history behind the refuge and its wildlife.

In the early-morning hours of June 27, 1874 some 300 Indians, led by Isa-tai and famed Comanche chief Quanah Parker, attacked the Adobe Walls post. The Indians planned to catch the whites by surprise and simply overpower them. Although the 28 hunters who occupied the post were vastly outnumbered, they were well armed with long-range rifles and were able to hold off the Indians. With their failure at Adobe Walls, many of the Indians began to spread out over the plains of Texas for one final grasp at the old ways of life. The attack on Adobe Walls by the Indians served as a catalyst for the U.S. Army to make plans to subdue the Southern Plains tribes once and for all. The Red River War officially ended in June 1875 when Quanah Parker and his band of Quahadi Comanche entered Fort Sill and surrendered. The Indians were defeated and would never again freely roam the buffalo plains.

As the Fort Sill military establishment began the use of long range artillery, this ground was taken into the Post's artillery range, and all the Indian graves were moved.



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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:47:24 ZULU