NTTR begins new era with new leader
By Senior Airman Michael Charles, Nellis Public Affairs
/ Published June 23, 2011
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
The 98th Range Wing was re-designated the Nevada Test and Training Range during a ceremony here June 21.
The ceremony was presided over by Maj. Gen. Bill Hyatt, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander, and marked the end to nearly a decade of the 98th Range Wing operating as the overseer of the NTTR.
"This might mark the end of the 98 RANW, but its legacy will be carried forth into the operations of the NTTR," General Hyatt said.
Like the 98 RANW, the NTTR will remain a direct reporting unit to the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and will continue to operate, maintain and manage the 2.9-million-acre range (42 percent of the land managed by the U.S. Air Force) and 12,000 square miles of military airspace. More than 1,000 military, civilian and contract personnel are assigned to the organization.
During the ceremony, Col. John Montgomery relinquished command of the 98 RANW.
"Only one organization is concerned with all aspects of the entire NTTR and, for the past decade, that's been the 98 RANW," said Colonel Montgomery. "Few people know the true impact that the NTTR has on the safety of America's security. We're fortunate to have some of the most talented and experienced people in the Air Force who are engaged in the fight every day. They are the quiet enablers for the NTTR and their job is everyone else's mission and ensuring users are able to accomplish what they need to on the range."
Col. Kenneth Thompson, former defense and air attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo assumed command of the NTTR and expressed his excitement for taking over responsibility of the NTTR mission.
"The NTTR ensures our Airmen have a suitable airspace and simulated threats to practice conducting the operations they will be doing overseas," Colonel Thompson said. "I am looking forward to continuing the standard the 98 RANW laid before us. We plan to keep providing the ideal test and training environment for the U.S. Air Force."
The NTTR is responsible for the largest contiguous air and ground space available for military operations in the free world. With 1,200 possible targets, realistic threat systems and the support of an opposing enemy force that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, the NTTR is home to America's most advanced aerial test and training environment, providing Airmen with a peacetime battlefield to hone their combat skills.