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Air Force asked to reconsider big expansion of bomb training range

Jul 15, 2014 - The Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A Montana congressman said Monday that he wants the U.S. Air Force to scale back a proposal that would expand a bomber training site over parts of four states.

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines asked the Air Force to remove from its plans a vast swath of airspace above southeast Montana, northwest South Dakota and southwest North Dakota.

Daines's office said the proposed enlargement of the Powder River Training Complex threatens to disrupt medical flights and monitoring flights by the oil and gas industry.

The Air Force plan also includes airspace above Wyoming. It would more than triple the area that can be used in training exercises for B-1 and B-52 bombers based in the Dakotas.

A final environmental study on the proposal is pending.

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