Progress on Hawthorne small arms range, pistol course remains on target

 Staff reports



Hawthorne Range update Dec 2022

           HAWTHORNE -- Progress on the small arms range at the Hawthorne Army Depot that will allow Nevada’s military personnel to stay within the state for their weapons qualification testing remains on target. This month, the Nevada Guard’s Lands and Ranges team completed its preparation for an interim Automated Record Fire Range and Combat Pistol Qualification Course. Both will feature wireless targets that are set to be emplaced in late winter.

The interim range and course promise to be operational by mid-March 2023 for Individual Soldier Weapons Qualification. The permanent small arms range that meets the Army standard for individual weapons qualification tests should be done by 2025 and will likely cost about $17 million.

About a half dozen Nevada Army Guard Soldiers worked to prepare the two interim, wireless shooting ranges at the Freedom Ranges in Mineral County. The ranges now include a four-lane automated rifle range and a four-lane automated pistol range. The project ran from November 28 to December 9.

The interim automated record fire range is located on the current Known Distance Range at the Freedom Ranges. The ARF extends 300 meters in distance and includes seven targets per lane. Each interim range lane will have targets placed at 50-, 100-, 150-, 200-, 250- and 300 meters.

The location of each target was identified and marked on the known distance range. Railroad ties and berms were incorporated to improve line-of-sight issues. The Soldiers used equipment from Carson City along with equipment from the 609th Engineer Company based in Fallon to make the improvements.

The interim pistol course is now located on Freedom Range No. 7, which was a previously a steel, pneumatic pop-up target range. The range now features four pistol lanes Each of the lanes extends 31 meters and includes two targets at 7 meters and one target at 10-, 12.5-, 16-, 23-, 27-, and 31 meters. Eighteen old steel targets affixed on cement bases on Range No. 7 were removed and the new target positions were marked and identified.

During the project, the Soldiers removed 25 cubic yards of trash and debris from the range locations.

The Soldiers who completed the project were from the 609th Engineer Company, the 150th Maintenance Company and the 422nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion. The Soldiers were: 1st Sgt. Paul Jones (609th); 1st Sgt. David Starky (150th Maintenance Company); Staff Sgt. Shayne Fulmer (422nd Signal Battalion); Sgt. Bryan Brown (609th); Spc. Alfonso Martinez (150th); and Sgt. Jared Ishmael (150th.)