The former Suffolk Co AAF&B&G Range located in Westhampton, New York (NY Congressional District 1) was activated in 1943, during World War II, and used for bombing, strafing, rocket firing, and gunnery training exercises by fighter pilots and instructors from the former Suffolk Air Force Base (AFB) and the former Mitchel Field Army Air Base. The bombing and gunnery ranges consisted of four separate ranges: a bombing range, a strafing range, and two 1,500 by 3,000-foot scoring ranges. Within the range areas, there were 23 strafing targets, 25 bombing targets, 12 target pits, two range houses, and two range towers. Additionally a skeet range was also constructed.
The former Suffolk County AAF also served as a Combined Air Defense Training Area in which Air Signal Warning Fighter Control and anti-aircraft units engaged in defense exercises. In 1946, the former Suffolk Co AAF&B&G Range was declared excess to the needs of the Air Force.
The Bombing and Gunnery Range Complex munitions response site (MRS) consists of four sub ranges: Ground Gunnery/Skip Bombing “A,” Ground Gunnery/Rocket Range “B,” Bombing Range, and Strafing Range. The munitions associated with the MRS are general purpose bombs, practice bombs, rockets, and small arms ammunition.
During field activities which formed the basis of the 2009 Site Inspection (SI) Report, no munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) was observed at the MRS; however, munitions debris (MD) from small arms ammunition, a practice bomb, and practice rockets was found. Analytical results of surface soil sampling for munitions constituents (MC) indicate that antimony, copper, and lead levels exceed ecological screening values. The SI Report notes that in 1946, bombs, practice rockets, and MD from bombs were found at the MRS. Additionally, in 1997 a practice rocket, practice bombs, and small arms ammunition were also discovered at the MRS. Based on the historical findings of MEC and MD, MD observed during SI field activities, and MC findings in surface soil, the 2009 SI Report recommends further investigation of the Bombing & Gunnery Range Complex project area.
Further remedial investigation will be conducted under the FUDS Program, subject to the availability of funds.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is conducting work at the site under the Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Formerly Used Defense Sites (DERP-FUDS).
To read a fact sheet on the project Click Here.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Gregory Goepfert, Project Manager, at (917) 790-8235.