News: Corps completes MARB firing range project
Story by Brooks Hubbard IV
MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District completed construction of a new indoor small-arms firing range. Rep. Ken Calvert, along with Corps, base and local community officials, celebrated the milestone during a ribbon cutting ceremony here, March 10.
The $8.5 million facility will provide a safe and secure 28,000-square foot range, complete with 28 firing lanes. Twenty-one of the lanes will be used for 9 mm and 5.56-caliber weapons, while the other seven lanes will be used for 7.62-caliber weapons. The facility will also have an administrative area with a control room, classroom, storage area, weapons cleaning room and offices.
March is the largest Air Reserve base in the United States, and one of the oldest airfields operated by the U.S. military. It is home to the 452nd Air Mobility Wing.
The previous base range was built in 1942; a remotely located outdoor range built six years before the establishment of the Air Force Reserve.
"I can't help but wonder about all the great military leaders that passed through our base and honed their marksmanship at our old range," said Col. Mary Aldrian, vice wing commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing. "This new facility will be a demonstration of our commitment to provide the very best training to our military members to prepare them for combat anytime, anywhere."
The completion of the range continues to reflect that for more than 50 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has had a partnership with March Air Reserve Base, contributing to the national defense mission with projects that improve readiness and enhance the quality of life for Airmen and their families.
General contractor P&S Construction, Inc., of North Chelmsford, Mass., constructed the indoor range. With initial construction complete, the range must now go through a Department of Defense firing range and safety certification before the facility can begin operations.
"This facility is really an example of building strong and taking care of airmen and soldiers," said Col. Mark Toy, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. "Not only those Department of Defense military members will use the range, but also members of the local county and city communities can use it to do their indoor small arms qualifications."
Officials anticipate that the range will be a great asset for the base and other governmental agencies to use for training of their law enforcement personnel.
"It's important that our young soldiers, airmen, Marines and Navy personnel can use this facility," said Calvert.
Calvert further remarked about construction projects that are occurring at the base, as well as a planned new $30 million air traffic control tower project.