Shooting range in planning

When hundreds of Nevada Army National Guard soldiers deploy to help fight the nation’s wars on terrorism, they are often sent for weeks at a time to Camp Roberts, Calif., to complete small arms training before they head overseas.

To keep the soldiers closer to home for training, the Guard has announced plans to build a $7.25 million small arms range complex north of the Clark County Armory on Nellis Air Force Base property.

“When these ranges are complete, our soldiers will no longer have to travel 300 miles to complete their required pre-deployment training. They will be able to train to Army standard right here in Southern Nevada,” range manager John Manfredi is quoted as saying in the current issue of the Guard magazine, “Battle Born.”

A Nellis spokesman confirmed Thursday that base officials are hammering out a land use arrangement with counterparts from the Nevada National Guard.

“It’s a win-win scenario because it is on lands that have been withdrawn for that purpose,” Nellis spokesman Chuck Ramey said about the planned range complex.

The new National Guard firing ranges will be separate from Nellis’ existing small arms range.

Ramey said no construction has begun on the Guard’s firing ranges and the project must conform with conditions of an environmental review.

According to the Guard’s publication, the first phase of construction could begin in 2010 with the second phase in 2011.

Those phases would include, respectively, a rifle and machine gun zero range; and a combat pistol qualification course and record fire range.

A multi-purpose machine gun range would be built during a third phase for which no timeline was given.

In all there would be four ranges with completion of the first one in 2011.

Contact reporter Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.

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