Fallon range’s 25-year extension included in FY2021 NDAA | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon range’s 25-year extension included in FY2021 NDAA

Nevada News Group
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto announces a 25-year extension for the Fallon Range Training Complex is included in the final version the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
Steve Ranson / LVN

The inclusion of 25-year status quo extensions for both the Nevada Test and Training Range in southern Nevada and the Naval Air Station Fallon are in the final conference version of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), said U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

During the past year, Masto said Thursday she worked with key Nevada stakeholders, the Air Force, the Navy and her colleagues in the Senate to secure this extension. She said this decision will allow Nevada’s service members to continue their vital training missions that the unique training spaces in Nevada provide while securing more time to discuss the future of the training ranges and the needs of Nevadans.

“I’ve always supported the status-quo extension of the U.S. military’s presence at the Nevada Test and Training Range and NAS Fallon, and I’m glad to see this resolution included in the FY2021 NDAA,” she said. “It’s vital that we support our military, as well as our local economies, while also preserving our public lands and sacred tribal sites across Nevada.”

For more than four years, the Navy and Air Force have called for a dramatic expansion of both the Nevada Test and Training Range and the Fallon Range Training Complex in addition to the extension.  

The current FRTC consist of more than 234,124 acres of land within the training areas Bravo-16, southwest of Fallon; Bravo-17 east near Fairview Peak; Bravo-19, 30 miles south off U.S. Highway 95; Bravo-20, northeast of Fallon; and the Dixie Valley and Shoal Site training areas. The current Navy request includes a withdrawal of an additional 604,789 acres of additional public land and an acquisition of about 65,160 acres of non-federal land for the range modernization and expansion.

Masto recently released alternative legislation to prompt discussions on a compromise and prevent an expansion without protections for tribal resources, conservation, outdoor recreation and public access organizations, farming and ranching and other mitigations for impacted local, county and tribal governments. The first-term senator said she looks forward to greater engagement from the incoming Biden Administration in order to find reasonable paths to provide for both national security needs and the well-being of impacted communities.