Public meeting with A.P. Hill on firing ranges tonight
By RUSTY DENNEN
Fort A.P. Hill will host an open house tonight on plans for two new firing ranges for the Army’s Asymmetrical Warfare Group.
The meeting will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Bowling Green Town Hall, 117 Butler St. The Army, and representatives from the Caroline County post, will be on hand with displays and to answer questions.
Two small-arms ranges–800 and 1,200 meters–would be located at the same spot on a 675-acre parcel within a current range area south of U.S. 301.
Tonight’s session is one step in the development of an environmental assessment of the project.
Assessments were done in 2006 and 2007, but a new one is under way because the 800- and 1,200-meter ranges would be combined on the same footprint. A new noise-impact evaluation is part of the plan.
The 800-meter range would include shooting pads, a 30- by 200-foot shooting range, an operations and storage building, an ammunition breakdown building, a latrine and a mess hall.
The 1,200-meter range would be for stationary and moving armor, and infantry.
Up to 40 soldiers at a time could be on the ranges during daytime or nighttime training.
The Asymmetrical Warfare Group was developed to train troops to counter evolving threats from insurgents and terrorist organizations.
The training-range site would be a controlled-access area, as are all the training sites on the southern impact zone of Fort A.P. Hill.
The largest weapons used on the site would be .50-caliber machine guns.
The post will consider feedback from the community at the open house; a draft environmental assessment should be completed by March.
There are nearly 20 firing ranges on the post, one of the Army’s premier East Coast training venues. It has been busy in recent years as deployments increased to Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 90,000 troops trained there last year.
Read a fact sheet on the ranges, http://www.aphill.army.mil/sites/directorates/inc/AWGRangeFactsheet.pdf
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431