The Air Force is consolidating its M-67 Fragmentation Grenade training class with a similar Army course. “As of January 2015, Fort Bliss, Texas, will be the only stateside [Regional Training Center] with a full-time pre-deployment training mission,” said MSgt. David Miller, a spokesman for the 99th ABW at Nellis AFB, Nev. The course, which has been part of airmen’s pre-deployment training since 2011, teaches students the purposes and types of grenades in addition to proper inspection, maintenance, and use of the weapons, according to a release. Miller said the move is intended to eliminate training inconsistencies and make deployment more efficient. “The consolidated training venue establishes a sole source for training, ensuring that defenders are all trained on the same tasks and to the same standard,” he told Air Force Magazine. “It also allows us to invest in equipment for training by eliminating redundancies in sourcing vehicles, equipment, and weapons at multiple training venues.” The Silver Flag Alpha range, which is the only Air Force range authorized for grenade training and employment, will keep its certification.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.