Atterbury Adds New Range for Traininig Capability
EDINBURGH, Ind. - The prolific pace of new construction projects continues at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ind. Whether new facilities on property that was once part of the original parcel of land on which the post was established, to new buildings in the current cantonment area to new venues and ranges in the training areas, the drive to improve the installation and provide the most relevant, realistic and cost effective resource for training is a never ending process. The latest endeavor is the construction of a new machinegun range on the eastside of the training areas.
Range 47, once complete, will be the latest addition to the expanding capabilities of Camp Atterbury to military units that train here, said Staff Sgt. Michael Kelley, of Clinton, Ind., Range Control Master Gunner and liaison between the construction contractor and Range Control.
"Before construction could begin there was a whole process of conceptualizing the project. The land is surveyed to see if it will fit. Then we go through the actual process putting in the paperwork to get approval for the project. Then it went up for biding by the contractors," said Kelley.
"Once that is all complete, the contractors arrive on the jobsite to begin construction. The range is used to train on the skills necessary to zero, detect, identify defeat and engage stationary infantry targets along with stationary armored targets utilizing crew-served weapon systems."
The range will be used for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons and M-240 Machineguns. Soldiers training on these systems will be able to zero, that is to say calibrate sights, engage stationary and mobile infantry targets as well as stationary and mobile armored vehicle targets. "The range can meet all machinegun training needs," said Kelley. "An additional berm was constructed to allow zeroing of weapons while other weapons are on the firing line."
Normally a multipurpose machinegun range can accommodate larger caliber systems such as the M-2 .50-caliber machinegun and longer range weapons used by snipers. Kelley said that those lanes would be built at another range facility here. He also said that separation of the longer ranges will be beneficial to the Soldiers, allowing the sniper training and machinegun training to occur concurrently.
"The 900 - 1,500 meter lanes will be built on another and separated from this range facility, which in the end will benefit us because only people that will probably be utilizing that feature will be your Special Operations Command and S.E.A.L.s. The good thing about us splitting them up is they will not have to tie up this whole facility to use the sniper portion," said Kelley. "So they will be able to utilize the sniper portion while we're conducting machinegun training at this facility," said Kelley.
Joe Turner, of Osgood, Ind., with Bruns-Gutzwiller Construction said that there was extensive logging and earthwork prior to construction on the range facilities. According to Turner 200,000 yards of earth was moved to create the terrain of the range.
"The range itself is a 100-acre facility with 10 firing positions," said Turner. "The facility has two classroom buildings, a maintenance building, tower, bleacher area and ammo distribution building. The 800 meters of rangeline cuts into the common impact area, which will have 80 target emplacements."
This will be the second machinegun range on Camp Atterbury. The existing range, range 11, was used by 4,200 Soldiers last year, according to Kelley. "We want to improve the capabilities of the post," said Kelley. "The numbers that we can support and the numbers that we are slated to train. So, by building this new facility, we are able to meet the standards governed by TC 25-8, which is the training range manual, on what the throughput for this facility should be," said Kelley. "The new facility will allow us double the capacity of the existing range."
Completion of Range 47 is scheduled for March 2013 with construction of the target system beginning in January 2013.
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