B-1 bomber traffic increases with training complex exercise

Published: May. 3, 2018 at 1:11 PM MDT
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Air traffic in the Air Force’s Powder River Training Complex will increase as the military conducts a major exercise May 15-18.

The large-force exercise Combat Raider involves numerous aircraft in sections of the 35,000-square mile range over parts of Wyoming, South and North Dakota, and Montana.

In a release, the Air Force stated that the exercise provides “joint and coalition training under realistic scenarios that replicate combat operations against modern threats.”

People who live under the training complex will see more aircraft than usual. They could also possibly hear sonic booms from the B-1 bombers as they conduct supersonic activities above 20,000 feet. Fighters, also conducting supersonic flights, will be above 10,000 feet.

The complex areas that will have increased traffic are:

- Powder River Two (northeast Wyoming, southeast Montana and part of South Dakota)

- Powder River Three (part of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota)

- Gap B (between Powder River Two and Three)

A map of the airspace is attached for reference and can be found on the Ellsworth Air Force Base website at


As a reminder, non-military aircraft pilots should thoroughly review the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notices to Airmen, or NOTAMs; and review flight plans to avoid these areas and altitudes where aircraft will be participating. This can be done by calling 1-800-WXBRIEF, or online at


The NOTAMs for the exercise are the final official notice and will be issued by the FAA 72 hours prior to its start.