Avon Park Air Force Range
Protecting the Community: Preserving Our Freedom
Avon Park Air Force Range (APAFR) plays an important role in the training of the men and women that defend our nation. The largest bombing and gunnery range east of the Mississippi River, APAFR has approximately 400 square miles of restricted airspace and 1,000 square miles of military operating area. Located in central Florida in Polk and Highlands Counties, APAFR’s 106,000 acres provide an important training facility for active duty, guard, and reserve military units from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
The Range hosts civilian public safety and homeland security unit training including the South Florida Community College Law Enforcement Academy’s training activities. The Range is also home to the State of Florida Juvenile Academy, the Florida National Guard, and the Avon Park Correctional Institution.
Other programs that contribute to the economies of Highlands and Polk Counties include outdoor recreation, cattle grazing, forest management, and timber sales. The Range’s environmental stewardship program protects the unique plant and animal habitats and cooperates with The Nature Conservancy and Archbold Biological Station to study and protect the rare plants and endangered species inhabiting the Range.