In 2016, the Utah Test and Training Range in Tooele County’s West Deseret got bigger, now Congress is looking at giving the roughly 1.7 million acre range a new name.
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-District 2, introduced a bill on Jan. 11 to rename the Utah Test and Training Range to the Bishop Utah Test and Training Range, in honor of former congressman Rob Bishop.
“Throughout his time in Congress, Mr. Bishop was a strong and consistent advocate for Hill Air Force Base, Utah Test and Training Range, and our veterans. No one stood stronger in defense of our men and women in uniform. I can’t think of a better way to honor the work and legacy of my good friend than renaming this indispensable military asset after him,” said Stewart in a written statement released following the bill’s introduction.
BIshop retired from Congress this year after 18 years of representing Utah. He also served in the Utah House of Representatives from 1978 to 1994 where he served as Speaker of the House from 1992-1994.
In a speech on the Senate floor on Dec. 11, Sen. Mitt Romney said he would introduce a Senate bill to rename the UTTR in honor of Bishop.
“Rob’s impressive efforts and steady leadership have raised Utah’s profile for our national defense. So too has his advocacy for the Utah Test and Training Range, so it makes sense that this key to our nation’s military readiness should bear his name. Next Congress, I intend to introduce a bill to rename it the Bishop Utah Test and Training Range,” said Romney.
UTTR is the largest block of contiguous restricted-use airspace in the continental United States.
It occupies 2,624 square miles of ground space and 12,574 nautical miles of airspace, including a significant portion of Tooele County’s West Desert.
The UTTR’s large airspace, exceptionally long supersonic corridors, extensive shoot box, large safety footprint area, varying terrain, and remote location make it an invaluable national asset in terms of both its training and test mission capability in support of the Department of Defense, according to the DOD.
The UTTR is also the only location capable of supporting overland testing of cruise missiles. The UTTR is used in a training capacity for air-to-air-combat, air-to-ground inert and live practice bombing and gunnery training by DOD aircrews.