Utah Training Range Buffer Proposed

The Air Force is proposing a 700,000-acre encroachment buffer zone to the Utah Test and Training Range to support future F-35A training requirements. Service planners put forward preliminary ideas for eight potential zones spread across Box Elder, Juab, and Tooele counties in Western Utah, during a local public hearing this week, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The proposal would block new development within the expanded perimeter zone, but would not be used as additional range space or prevent public access, according to the report. The F-35 school house at nearby Luke AFB, Ariz., could host upwards of 144 Lightning IIs, and neighboring Hill AFB, Utah, is slated to receive the first of 72 airframes next year.