The Meridian Special Use Airspace [SUA] is managed by the Scheduling Office of Training Air Wing One. The airspace consists of the Meridian One West MOA and Restricted Area R-4404 A, B, and C. The MOA is primarily used for student naval pilot training and the Restricted Area is used for bomb/strafe ordnance deliveries.
Meridian's responsibilities and pace of operations increased with the 1993 closure of NAS Chase Field; however, compared to the more contentious locations, NAS Meridian has been a relatively stable presence in DoN airspace management for several years. The command reports no limitations on its training capabilities from encroachment or environmental issues.
NAS Meridian has been one of the installations being evaluated as a potential East Coast training location for the F/A-18E/F. Other analyses have questioned the availability of training resources, especially ranges, for this mission. Congestion and eventually capacity issues at NAS Oceana could prove the deciding factor in whether or where a training-dedicated unit is established elsewhere.
The Navy operates the NAS Meridian control tower, while the FAA operates the terminal ATC facility (RATCF) at Meridian, and an FAA funded contract tower serves the civil airport, Key Field. Discussions are ongoing between the Navy and the FAA concerning a FAA initiative to turn over the approach control responsibilities for Meridian and Key Field to the Navy.
The Meridian complex is located north of Meridian Mississippi. The complex consists of the following target area:
- SeaRay Target Range (R-4404A/B/C)
The following Military Operating Area (MOA) is associated with this complex:
- Meridian 1 MOA
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