The Air Force is considering establishing a low-altitude tactical navigation (LATN) area in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The LATN, which is pending an environmental impact assessment, would provide airspace for C-130s and CV-22s to conduct air combat maneuvers and low-altitude tactics training. If approved, the Air Force would fly about two sorties a day, or about 688 sorties a year. The aircraft could fly as low as 200 feet at 250 knots through the mountainous countryside. “The proposed LATN area in Colorado and New Mexico was selected due to the varied topography and weather, proximity to Cannon AFB[, N.M.,] and lack of large civilian populations,” according to a Cannon release. The training would enable Cannon’s 27th Special Operations Wing to “provide air combat support and would sustain combat-ready crews for worldwide deployment,” states the release. Officials also are considering an alternative proposal, which includes a smaller section of airspace.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.