Avon Park Upgrade

Officials elevated the range detachment in charge of Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla., to full squadron status, activating the 598th Range Squadron in a Sept. 22 ceremony there. The squadron designation “honors the memory of the WWII airmen that trained in this location” flying B-26s of the 598th Bomb Squadron, Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Beeker said in a release. “In many ways, our mission is unchanged from WWII: to give our troops the toughest possible training so that they are ready to face our nation’s enemies,” he added. The 598th RANS controls the 160,000-acre range adjacent to MacDill Air Force Base in central Florida, but reports to the 23rd Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga., according to the release.