Military


Bicycle Lake AAF

The National Training Center is in the heart of the Mojave Desert, 30 NM (56 km) northeast of Barstow, Calif. Bicycle Lake AAF is 2.6 NM (5 km) northeast of the main post area. The field elevation is 2,350 feet (716 meters). The entire reservation encompasses more than 642,000 acres of training area with the northern boundary less than 1.7 NM (3 km) from Death Valley National Monument. The San Bernadino and San Gabriel Mountains extend in an east-west path 73 NM (135 km) southwest of Bicycle Lake. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, oriented north- to south, are to the west. Elevations in excess of 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) are common in these ranges.

Bicycle Lake Army Airfield has two dirt runways. One is 9,500 feet long the second is 5,800 feet long. It can accomodate C-130 aircraft landings. Located directly to the south of the runways is an aircraft parking ramp (12,900 square yards) with five pads and two refueling pads. Thirty-nine PSP pads located to the west of Bicycle Lake Operations provides additional aircraft parking. Sufficient space exists to park 44 rotary wing aircraft. A maintenance hangar constructed of wood and sheet metal exists with a working space of approximately 8,100 square feet. It is currently used to store multiple integrated laser engagement system equipment. The Bicycle Lake Operations building contains 3,450 square feet of office space. This space accomodates Range Control, Airfield Operations and flight planning. Adjacent to the Airfield Operations building is a modular building consisting of 3,600 square feet. This building houses the installation G3/DPTMSEC Aviation office and the Air Force Weather Detachment. Located between the Airfield Operations building and the maintenance hanger is a nonoperational control tower. Bicycle Lake is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It operates on assigned UHF, VHF and FM frequencies. The airfield is not equipped for instrument approach procedures. Bicycle Lake's current fuel storage capacity is 25,000 gallons of JP8. The Bicycle Lake runways are under approximately four to six inches of water during the winter season.

Broad valleys surrounded by rugged mountain peaks dominate the NTC. Dry lake beds are found in nearly every internal basin. Elevations range from more than 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) in the northeast corner (the Avawatz Mountains) to 1,300 feet (400 meters) in the southeast corner. This type of terrain is typical of most of the Mojave Desert.

Bicycle Lake is in a basin at the intersection of several mountain ranges. The basin is 16 NM (30 km) long and extends northeast-southwest. It is 3.5 NM (6 km) wide at Bicycle Lake. It slopes gradually 9 NM (17 km) southwest to Paradise Range, which is at 3,430 feet (1,046 meters). The Granite Mountains start 11 NM (20 km) north. Elevations are 3,700-4,000 feet (1,130-1,220 meters). Just .9 NM (2 km) east, the Tiefort Mountains rise abruptly to 5,000 feet (1,520 meters) and 4 NM (7 km) west, the foothills of Goldstone Range rise to 3,500 feet (1,070 meters). There is a narrow pass between two hills 4.3 NM (8 km) west-northwest.

The lake is dry most of the time. Almost all precipitation that falls on the mountains runs off into the basins. Bicycle Lake acts as a drainage point for the surrounding high ground. Even when it does contain water, it is very shallow. Water may remain in the lake for up to 2 weeks after the surrounding mountains receive heavy rain.

 

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