HomeAbout UsMissionsSmoky Hill ANG Range Expansion

Smoky Hill ANG Range: Information about the Military Operations Area Airspace

 

About Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range

The Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range is a 34,000-acre target range located 10 miles southwest of Salina, Kansas. The range is assigned to the Kansas Air National Guard's 184th Wing, which is located at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita.

It’s one of three Air National Guard air-to-ground training ranges in the Midwest, and it’s the largest and busiest range in the Air National Guard.

 

Camp Phillips, Salina, Kansas, 1943

 

Smoky Hill ANG Range has served as a training location for the nation’s military since 1942. During that time, Camp Phillips was constructed to prepare Soldiers for combat in World War II.

Following World War II, the United States Air Force acquired the range and renamed it Smoky Hill Air Force Base. The base was operated and maintained by the active Air Force from 1948 until it closed in 1965.

In 1973, the Kansas Air National Guard assumed operations and maintenance of the range to provide an air tactics training area for F-105 fighter-bombers assigned to the 184th Tactical Fighter Training Group at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, as well as other Vietnam War-Era fighters assigned to the Air National Guard.

 

F-105 Thunderchiefs assigned to the 184th Tactical Fighter Training Group, 1970s

 

Only inert “dummy” bombs are authorized in the impact area, which is relatively small compared to the overall area surrounding Smoky Hill ANG Range.

That airspace is called a Military Operations Area, or MOA. An MOA is airspace that’s designated by the Federal Aviation Administration for military aircraft to practice air-to-air maneuvers.

Air warfare has come a long way since the Vietnam War-Era technology. With the latest generation of combat aircraft, the Department of Defense recognized the need to expand the MOA surrounding Smoky Hill ANG Range.

 

A-10 Warthog flying at Smoky Hill Weapons Range

 

The Military Operations Area Expansion

In early 2021, the FAA approved an expansion of the Smoky Hill ANG Range’s MOA.

The original Bison and Smoky High MOAs are bordered by the dotted red line on the map below. The Smoky Hill ANG Range’s land mass and impact area is shown in the solid blue and textured blue areas in the top right corner of the Smoky High MOA.

 

Smoky Hill ANG Range Military Operations Area Map

 

The new MOAs—Dodge, Drifter, High Plains, and Twister—are bordered by solid red lines on the map.

The expanded MOAs are designed to provide proper airspace to accommodate faster aircraft with longer-range capabilities. This creates a realistic training environment for air crews to gain experience in aircraft interception, turning, evasive maneuvers, and air-to-air combat tactics.

 

F-22 Raptor

 

The expansion roughly doubles the original Bison/Smoky High MOA which means air operations will be spread across multiple locations. Additionally, the lowest level that aircraft can operate in the new MOAs is 10,000 feet.

These combined adjustments will result in less noise heard from the ground.

However, supersonic operations above 30,000 feet may increase the perceived noise level at times.

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about Smoky Hill ANG Range’s Military Operations Areas.

 

Click here to Download our information brochure about Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range.

 

How to File a Noise Complaint for Smoky Hill ANG Range

To file a noise complaint, please call (316) 759-8544. Or, click the link below to fill out an online noise complaint form.

Smoky Hill ANG Range Noise Complaint Form