FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Feb. 10, 2023) — Four of Fort Leonard Wood’s live-fire ranges are scheduled to receive upgrades during the next few months.
The ranges, which are used by Soldiers for practice and live weapons qualifications, are expected to have more than 400 targets upgraded or replaced.
According to Supervisory Range Planner Terry Moore with the Directorate of Planning, Training, Mobilization and Security, the first to receive an upgrade is Range 20, which will receive an entirely new target system.
Installation of the new system started Monday and is scheduled to be completed by mid-March, Moore said.
Once Range 20 is up and running, ranges 7, 8 and 22 are expected to receive new media converters – which will allow targets to transmit information to a computer in the range towers as part of a scoring system – with an estimated completion date of mid-May, he said.
The current targets are all more than 25 years old, and age, combined with the elements, have taken a toll on them, Moore said.
“Ranges 7 and 8 are lighting prone ranges,” he said. “If they are hit with lightning strikes it usually burns up the target control assembly cards and can possibly damage the media converters.”
Moore said the current converters are obsolete, so there is no way to repair them when something happens, and having repair parts easily accessible will create a positive impact on training here.
“This is a really good thing,” Moore said. “They’re going to be better ranges all around.”
When a range is down, or not operating properly, it can lead to delays in training. The new systems will increase efficiency in training and mitigate delays that can occur when a system is down, Moore said.
“Time – it’s always about time,” he said. “Everything they do in basic training is about time. They only have so much, so if we shut them down, or take two lanes away from them, it could put an extra hour or two on the day for the unit. So, it’s crucial to get these ranges updated to help them get through the ranges as quickly as possible.”
Staff Sgt. Angel Rivera, a range NCOIC with Fort Leonard Wood Combat Training Company, agreed.
“(These updates) will help us get trainees in and out faster,” Rivera said. “The new equipment will help us out a lot with training overall. Unreliable equipment means sometimes we must reschedule units to come back, which sets them back as well.”
Moore said the goal is always to give Soldiers the best training available.
“This will definitely be a big step in that direction,” he said.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission