Marines in Hawaii can now drive vehicles through simulated urban blocks lined with buildings that conceal moving targets they engage with their big guns.
“It’s been a five-year transformation” to create a combat training environment for the Kaneohe Bay Gun Training Facility at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Ralph Scott Jr., range project manager, said.
The transformation from a range that was a flat, asphalt firing line to a facility with shooting towers and trench systems has been constructed largely with materials that the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Pacific provided.
Over the last two years, DLA has managed the delivery of concrete, lumber, power tools, sand and rebar for the project, said Andrea Del Collo, a forward logistics specialist with DLA Troop Support Pacific in Hawaii.
Scott said that the upgrade project was done “as cost effectively as possible” by procuring the materials through DLA and having the Army’s 84th Engineer Battalion, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, design and construct the range.
He also described working with Del Collo and the prime vendor, from which the materials were purchased, as an “above superior process.” It was especially helpful, he said, that they were willing to swap and add materials to orders when needed.
“The flexibility is incredible,” Scott said.
The construction materials were ordered through DLA Troop Support’s Maintenance, Repair and Operations program. Various stationary and moving targets have been procured through the Special Operational Equipment program.
Marines at the base and Army units from Schofield Barracks, both on the island of Oahu, as well as other military units train on the range. Law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Honolulu Police Department also use the range.
Prior to the upgrade project, they weren’t able to do basic hand grenade training, Scott said. They can now handle and throw live grenades in six-foot deep trenches and six concrete training rooms.
Lumber was used to build three-story towers and barracks, which units can now sleep in during multi-day training scenarios.
While the range is operational, construction continues and the project will expand to the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island of Hawaii.