News | Aug. 9, 2016

Document Services prints on target

By Amber McSherry, Document Services

When warfighters deploy to combat operations, they rely on skills honed by hours of practice using targets printed by Document Services. The Rock Island Arsenal, in Illinois, is the sole facility producing a wide range of targets for the armed services’ marksmanship programs, used for everything from training exercises to weapons qualification.

There are 75 types of targets, and counting, available for ordering through DLA Troop Support that range in size from 8.5 x 11 inches to more than six feet square. The Rock Island facility produces targets for every weapons system imaginable, including small arms, heavy arms, and long range. It even prints large aerial targets that are towed behind boats.

The variety of targets helps perfect service members’ ability to complete their missions with greater efficiency. Document Services prints them all, from the typical bullseye target to a double-sided target that has a slight variation between the front and back, which allows service members to choose the side that best suits their weapons.

“This option not only saves paper, but gives the troops better practice with their designated weapons,” said Doug Kirgan, Production Manager for the Document Services Great Lakes Office Group.

“The target tables Document Services prints help soldiers to practice shifting fire between points of impact – a necessary skill for combat,” said Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Hayward.  

According to Great Lakes Office Group Director Wendy Glas, the majority of targets are printed on manila paper in black ink, but the facility can also print on weather resistant paper. Recently, they began producing color targets in orange and grey. 

“It’s an evolving business that changes to meet the needs of our troops,” Kirgan said, noting that three new targets were added to the catalog recently, with one more in the works.

Orders for the targets come through DLA Troop Support and the targets are produced on-demand and shipped by Document Services. All paper, drawings, packaging, and shipment of targets are in accordance with military specifications.

“We process roughly 1,700 orders per fiscal year on average. An order can be for as few as 100 targets up to 250,000 or more for the really big matches that take place each year,” said Fred Power, a senior press operator.

Rock Island Arsenal has been producing targets for 135 years. Document Services took on the function in 1993 and has pressed forward with this important mission. The facility is manned by eight employees. In fiscal year 2015, targets made up 72 percent of the facility’s workload. Five million targets were printed and shipped last year alone, to ensure readiness of the nation’s military services.

“The targets produced by Document Services enable military branches to vet their personnel’s weapons proficiency. It’s a process that we are proud to support,” said Document Services Director Steve Sherman.