A Natural Partnership

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Perry Aston
  • Airman Magazine


The Air Force owns and manages large expanses of land throughout the United States, used for training military forces to be lethal and ready for the future defense of the nation. This land is also a safe haven for some of America’s most treasured plants and wildlife.



VIDEO | 03:23 | A Natural Partnership

The Air Force partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, stationing botanists and biologists of different specialties directly on the ranges to ensure preservation of the mostly untouched natural habitat and to work to expand species beyond the borders of the ranges. This partnership allows critical plants and animals to not only survive, but thrive.

Located in central Florida, Avon Park Air Force Range is unique; it hosts world-class ranges and training areas, but is also considered the last bit of “Real Florida.” Stepping off the target areas into the safety buffer zones, visitors are transported to what Florida looked like hundreds of years ago — teaming with life, and home to species that are found nowhere else.