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Dare County bombing range unveils new urban target facility

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- The Dare County Bombing Range, located on the eastern coast of North Carolina, which is used for air-to-surface target training, unveiled a new complex Monday which prepares pilots for urban warfare.

The complex is designed to simulate several blocks of an urban environment that will be used to train aircrew on missions like they may see in Iraq, Afghanistan and possible future combat operations.

"MOUT stands for Military Operations in Urban Terrain. It is designed to simulate 2.5 blocks of an urban type environment. The MOUT design and construction is the largest and greatest improvement to the Dare County Bombing Range in more than 40 years," said Lt. Col. William Pinter, 4th Operations Support Squadron, director of operations.

Costing approximately $1.2 million, the MOUT is constructed on the pre-existing impact area in a location that was previously used for tactical targets that could not provide the urban environment realism desired for effective combat training.

"It provides far more realistic training for our aircrew for the types of tactical situations they can expect to encounter in combat in not only the current conflicts we are involved in, but potential future conflicts", said Maj. Travis Ingber, officer in charge, Dare County Bombing Range.

A combined effort from many organizations made the design and construction of the MOUT a total success. "This team consisted of the 4th OSS, specifically the Range and Airspace offices, 4th Civil Engineering Environmental Flight, Ahntech, Darkwoods Farms of Engelhard, Cordon Trucking of Belhaven, and the North Carolina Forest Service of Stumpy Point," said Maj. Devin Traynor, 4th OSS, chief of range and airspace.

The MOUT will be a tremendous training resource for increasing United States combat capability in the most demanding combat environment, urban operations.

The MOUT will not only improve combat training for aircrew at Seymour Johnson, but all other Air Force and sister services flying units on the east coast.

"It will provide greater synergy between combat aircraft and Joint Tactical Air Controllers," Maj. Traynor said. "This synergy will enhance the opportunities for inter-service cooperation and joint-use scenarios."

The training range enhancement will enable the U.S. joint team to become stronger in its combat capability to bring to bear precision firepower against future adversaries in an operational environment. Aircraft such as F-18s, A-10s and Hornets currently use the training range.

"This is the first phase in a continuing effort to provide the best possible target fidelity for aircrew training. We will continue to incorporate enhancements as resources permit," said Maj. Ingber. "Some planned future improvements are electrical power for lights, heat and other target improvements and increased target density.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was presided over by Col. Eric Nelson, 4th Operations Group commander.
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