FACSFAC VACAPES was established in 1977 with the mission of scheduling, control, and surveillance of military operating areas, training routes, and bombing ranges for the northeastern United States. For over 40 years, the unit's mission has grown considerably. "Giant Killer" now oversees more than 112,000 miles of offshore air, surface, and sub-surface operating areas stretching from Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, to Charleston, South Carolina. Within FACSFAC VACAPES resides Fleet Forces Atlantic Exercise Coordination Center (FFAECC) and Contract Air Services (CAS), where planners schedule and coordinate all aspects of the Navy's largest exercises, unit level training, and hazardous events. Everything from water and air space to ships and aircraft, support vessels, signals, targets, surveillance and control; they play a key role in enabling dynamic and realistic training for our Nation's fleet operators.
With more than one hundred thirty Officers, Chiefs, and Sailors as well over 50 civilian professionals, the facility and its eight remote communication sites operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Giant Killer Sailors provide air traffic control for more than 80,000 sorties operating in their special use airspace. Additionally, our Operations Specialists deconflict over 10,000 surface and subsurface events per year, including missile exercises, Unit Level Training, NASA rocket launches, gunnery evolutions, or underwater detonation drills.
The Giant Killer team also provides a critical link between US Coast Guard and Department of Defense units by providing a crucial conduit for the safe and expeditious employment of Search and Rescue operations and medical evacuations within the operating area.
Included within the VACAPES area of responsibility is the Navy Dare Bombing Range located just inland of the North Carolina Outer Banks. The Navy's primary range for inert freefall ordnance, strafe, and Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC) training within the Mid-Atlantic region, Navy Dare Bombing Range encompasses more than 40,000 acres and supports over 4,500 annual missions for Navy and Joint operational users making it the Navy’s busiest range on the East Coast.
In addition to Giant Killer's core mission, the compound is home to NSWC Corona's Large Area Tracking Range (LATR) and Electronic Warfare (EW) Pod shops, as well as the VACAPES Range Operations Center, from which Commander, Strike Group FOUR (CSG-4) directs all opposition force (OPFOR) scenarios for major fleet training evolutions.
When combined with the daily functions performed by command Sailors, FFAECC and CAS Planners, and the Dare Range operators, Giant Killer plays a vital role in the training and readiness of the Atlantic Fleet and Joint Forces.