Military engineers are improving the Joint National Training Center in Romania with materials largely provided through the Defense Logistics Agency.
“Behind me you can see what I think will be soon known in the Romanian army and throughout the Black Sea Region as the best mounted gunnery range in this part of Europe,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, U.S. Army Europe commander, said while visiting the JNTC in Cincu July 14.
Hodges referred to the non-standard live-fire range at the JNTC, which will allow a tank platoon to conduct shoot and move live-fire exercises on five lanes, according to a release from the 926th Engineer Brigade.
The work is underway as part of Resolute Castle 2017, an exercise to strengthen NATO forces’ capability to train and respond to threats within the region.
Resolute Castle is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of U.S. commitment to NATO allies’ security and stability in the region after Russian intervention in Ukraine in 2014.
The stones, lumber, rebar, concrete, hardware and other materials used to improve the training center’s infrastructure were provided through DLA’s Maintenance, Repair and Operations program, said Ada “Cathy” Torres Vega, a contracting officer with DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
DLA Troop Support’s MRO program provides tailored support for facilities maintenance, public works, civil engineering, family housing and base supply customers around the world.
The MRO team at DLA Troop Support Europe and Africa also provided materials for Resolute Castle projects in Poland, Torres Vega said. This is the second year they’ve supported the exercise.
The live-fire range project involves building nearly seven miles of tank trails, grading three football fields’ worth of space for targetry and removing the equivalent of half a cubic football field from a hilltop to allow line of sight from battle positions to the moving targets, according to the 926th story.
Armor crews will use the tank range for exercises such as Saber Guardian and Getica Saber.
Construction at the JNTC has been a joint effort between Army Reserve soldiers from the 926th, National Guard soldiers, Navy Seabees and soldiers from Romania and the United Kingdom.
Working with DLA and the MRO prime vendor has been a good experience, said 1st Lt. John Temple, an engineer planner with the 926th. While he mostly worked directly with the vendor, when there was an issue with the concrete that Temple ordered, Torres Vega’s MRO team was easy to reach for help.
“DLA was the hero behind the wall,” he said.
While improvements to the JNTC will enhance training for armored units, the construction work is also a joint training opportunity for the engineers.
“There’s a good learning curve,” Cpl. Matt Williams of the 225th Field Squadron (Militia), U.K. Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, said in another 926th release. “But when you’ve got a bunch of blokes laughing and joking over lunch, you know you’ve got a good thing.”