posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 09:01 PM
reply to post by DesertWatchdog
They had signs to the drop zones there for the longest time. Then some fool (me) decided it would be just barely interesting to document the drop
zones and the signs. Well on my next visit to the range, the signs were removed. Who knew they actually cared about the locations. The cattle depended
on those signs for scratching!
You would think that if anyone had to find the drop zones, the USAF would just give them GPS coordinates and a map. Well I was out there with a group
and somebody wanted to see the drop zones. (Why, I forget). We headed out in a small convoy (3 cars) with me at the lead. I had all the turns marked
on my GPS. What I didn't count on was the USAF conducting GPS jamming. The signal just disappeared from my GPS. No satellites seen. What I discovered
was the USAF has put a large rock by the turn to the Pipeline DZ. The rock is painted fire engine red. [OK, now I guess they will remove that
The drop zones are used sometimes during MAFEX.
Usually they just drop barrels full of water. The barrels are heavy enough to make work for the loadmaster, but easy enough to recover on the ground
by dumping the water and hauling away the empty barrels. Other times the drop zones are used for HALO jumps.
If you are in the area and there is a drop scheduled, the people in charge will move you to a safe location, but not run you out of the area. They
have a rough idea about the accuracy of the drop, and just put you out of danger. I saw a heavy crate dropped once (no idea what was inside) and one
of the chutes failed to open. It didn't look good.;-)
The only other defense related marker I have seen around the range is the one on Mt. Diablo. Not Mt. Diablo California (a serious mountain), but the
molehill known as Mt. Diablo by the TTR. For reasons I can't fathom, that insignificant hill is the marker for much of south Nevada.
In the satellite image, that is the TTR mancamp at the bottom.
I don't think I have a photo online of the Mt. Diablo marker, but it is stamped Defense Mapping Agency or DMA. There is a small concrete pad in the
area. It might be related to JEFX, since I saw a temporary microwave relay site set up on the pad.