The Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range (BMGR) is located in southern Arizona near the border with Mexico. Its primary purpose is to provide pilots with an area to practice air-to-ground bombing. The range is used by pilots from Luke Air Force Base, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, as well as other US and NATO flight crews operating at those bases and others.
This area is also frequented by off-road enthusiasts traveling the El Camino del Diablo and by agents of the US Border Patrol in the course of their duties.
An important task for the operation of a bombing range is to try to make sure there are no unauthorized persons or vehicles that could inadvertently get into harms way. Patrolling the range, which is larger than either Rhode Island or Delaware, can be a daunting task for security forces at the range.
CAP Provides Assistance
Aircrews from various squadrons in Arizona Wing regularly fly what is called the Barrel Cactus Mission, patrolling areas of the range to help ensure it’s clear for normal operation. Aircrews work with range security to patrol areas they need help with.
This kind of mission is one of the reasons why CAP exists as the official auxiliary of the US Air Force. CAP aircrews gain valuable flight training time by participating in these missions, which help Mission Observers and Mission Scanners get experience with aerial photography, radio usage, and planning proper grid searches.
Participation in these kind of missions is available to any Senior Member who gets the proper training and any necessary certifications.