The air station officially assumed “operational responsibility” of Townsend Bombing Range on Sunday, according to a Marine Corps news release. And the range, located in McIntosh County, Ga., is poised to grow to almost seven times its current size, meaning F-35B Lightning II pilots will be able to drop different bombs, in different ways.
The range expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2019 and will bring the facility to 35,000 acres, according to the Corps.
The benefit to Marine aviators will be the ability to drop inert precision-guided munitions — bombs that are controlled by guidance and flight systems — all the way to their targets.
“(Townsend Bombing Range) gives us the critical range capability to maintain aircrew proficiency and the expanded range will allow aircrew to rehearse inert PGM employment at tactical altitudes and tactical airspeeds,” the statement said.
The Georgia Air National Guard used to operate the range but began the transfer of responsibility in April.
Wade Livingston: 843-706-8153, @WadeGLivingston
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