Navy anchor

Chocolate Mountain Range

 Training facility used for practice courses in bombing and aerial gunning
Imperial and Riverside, California

Chocolate Mountain Range is one of the widest and most important training sites in the United States of America. The range covers not less than 1850 square kilometers and is about 30 kilometers in breadth and 75 kilometers in length. The area is restricted and no one can get in, except for the authorized personnel. The facility is operated and controlled by both the Marines and the US Navy. It is only used for practice courses in bombing and aerial gunning. The range was picked in the northern side of the Chocolate Mountains and covers some airspace in both Arizona and California, although the mountains are located in California only.


Chocolate Mountain Range is not among those old bases established around a century ago. Instead, it is part of the comprehensive process led by the United States of America in order to consolidate for the upcoming World War II. Dozens of military installations were established in those years, while many others were renovated and upgraded. This range is just one of the new bases. Back then, the need for such a range was obvious. The bombing and aerial gunnery training courses were mandatory. However, the government didn’t have too many sites to rely on. When this place was picked, it came like an excellent opportunity for both the aspirant and advanced pilots.


It is more than a decade into the 21-st century and things haven’t changed too much. These days, the primary mission of this site is the same. It is mostly use by the Marine Corps to perfect its troops, but the Naval Air Forces also share it to support the essential training courses. The only things that changed are the actual aircrafts. As new models were released, Chocolate Mountain Range was among the first spots to be tested in. Today, some rumors talk about the prolific F 35 and MV 22 models too, which are expected to arrive at the range anytime. 

The range played a major role in most of the conflicts that started after its establishment, starting with World War II and ending with the latest invasions from the Middle East.


Training at Chocolate Mountain
The wide Chocolate Mountain Range has the ability to support any type of mission due to its size. Among the most common techniques exercised on site, you can count strafing, laser attacks, bombing, rocket exercises or air to ground attacks. There are more than 2,000 different types of bombs used in the tests. Some of the most popular ones include Rockeye – MK 20 – or cluster models – CBU.
The aggressive training missions may take place in an isolated and restricted site, but the sound is still hard to support by the nearby communities. Therefore, a recent ordinance forbids any training sessions before 7 AM and after 9 PM, local timezone.
The training sessions are extremely varied. The troops can train for basically any mission you can imagine. Chocolate Mountain Range has five particular areas that are only designated for targeting. Some of the targets include convoys, vehicles or building samples.

Base Population

The Chocolate Mountains of California are located in Imperial and Riverside counties. Imperial county has an overall population of 174,528. Riverside has an overall population of 2,189,641.