The R-2508 Complex, located in Southern California, was established in 1955 to provide a controlled area to conduct military activities. The complex is the largest single area of overland Special Use Airspace in the United States, providing irreplaceable capabilities for weapons testing and military training.
The Mission Today
The R-2508 Complex supports a broad spectrum of testing and training operations. These operations include participants from NAWCWD, 412 TW, NTC, the Navy Fleet, other military services, commercial enterprises, foreign allies, and others.
Encroachment pressures such as renewable energy, frequency spectrum, and urban growth, threaten the ability to support national defense.
All services work closely with the JPPB to jointly manage a proactive range sustainability program. The focus is to:
The R-2508 Complex consists of 20,000 square miles of Special Use Airspace. This area encompasses portions of Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Tulare counties. A large portion of the R-2508 Complex overlies other federally owned lands including national parks, national forests, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property.
The R-2508 Complex provides a wide variety of terrain that supports a realistic and rigorous testing and training environment. Low-level flights are permitted as low as 200 feet above the ground while operating in the R-2508 Complex Military Operating Areas (MOAs). These MOAs allow for routine training and testing maneuvers to occur outside of the Restricted Airspace.
Challenges to the Mission
The military’s ability to enable testing and training missions in the R-2508 Complex depends on the continued support and cooperation of surrounding communities. Various types of incompatible development can threaten the military’s ability to effectively make use of this irreplaceable testing and training location. Many concerns of the military relate to incompatible land development and restrictions on the use of airspace within the R-2508 Complex. These include:
The military partners with organizations to preserve land beneath airspace from incompatible development and to ensure operations continue with minimal impacts. These initiatives often contribute to local conservation objectives.
The military supports the compatible development of renewable energy sources including solar, wind, and geothermal. The military works with the renewable energy stakeholders as well as local, state, and federal government to ensure that energy development projects are compatible with the military mission in the R-2508 Complex.
Compatibility through Community Collaboration
The military and its partners in the community have the opportunity to work together to manage future growth and development cooperatively for the benefit of all.
The military fosters positive community relationships by:
Local government and private citizens can help by familiarizing themselves with local zoning codes and potential constraints from military operations before buying, renting, developing, or redeveloping property to understand the different kinds of compatible land uses and their requirements.
Last updated: January 17, 2023