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The Air Force requires access to ranges and their airspace to conduct critical training and testing. Whether or not the service actually owns the facilities, ranges, and airspace it uses, scheduling their use and investments in their infrastructures are challenging and have been becoming more so. Encroachment is one challenge. Communities have continued to spread into what was once rural or low population density land. And then there is the growing challenge of civilian aviation, most notably the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Transportation System. With it and flight trajectory information based on Global Positioning System reporting, air traffic controllers and pilots will soon have dynamic information about U.S. airspace. That authority might extend over test and training range airspace where in emergencies, possibly with bad timing, making military liaisons critical at the national level. Range managers must still fulfill their primary purpose, facilitating realistic tests and training. The best way to do that is to understand what the goals are, what is required to meet them, and why the activity is critical. This report looks at a method that leverages an Air Force centralized scheduling program and, as an example, uses an update of an existing RAND tool (provided on CD) to gain such an understanding.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Range Supply, Demand, and Management: An Overview

  • Chapter Three

    The Changing Environment for Range and Airspace Use

  • Chapter Four

    Range Management Challenges and Information Needs at the Range Level

  • Chapter Five

    Challenges for Range Program Managers

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions, Implications, and Recommended Responses

  • Appendix A

    Air Force Ranges: Supply and Demand

  • Appendix B

    Updated Decision Support Tool

  • Appendix C

    Joint Mission Framework

Research conducted by

The research in this report was prepared for the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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