Recreational Shooting Complex hosts open house
July 31, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 31, 2013) -- The Directorate of Family and Morale,Welfare and Recreation held an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday to celebrate the opening of the Recreational Shooting Complex at Coursen Range.
Soldiers and their Families were invited to tour the 15-acre facility, view shooting demonstrations by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit and sign up for memberships.
The complex includes a 300-yard rifle range, a 50-yard handgun range, two trap and skeet ranges, a supply store and more.
Future expansion will include three additional trap and skeet fields and a 1,000-square-foot building to take the place of the temporary connex.
The open house kicked off with opening remarks by Al Gelineau, director of FMWR and Col. Michail Huerter, Fort Benning garrison commander.
Gelineau said the complex was the vision of Jim Schoemaker, MWR community recreation division chief.
Huerter said the complex relied on the support of the entire community over several years to reach its completion.
"This complex has been in the works for seven years and cost over $1.7 million … it is bought and paid for by all of you who utilize the facilities here at Fort Benning and MWR," Huerter said.
Cliff Hughes, equipment resource manager for the complex, said environmental agencies, engineers and the Range Control Division worked together to find a safe location. The Native American Services Corporation constructed the complex.
"All of the Soldiers and their Families that I have talked to have been ecstatic about a new range that they can come and shoot their firearms on," Hughes said. "This range was available and it was close to post so if we did it somewhere like King's Pond it would've been a little harder to get to. This area is a little more accessible for Soldiers and their Families."
Hughes said although the complex isn't open to the public, authorized members can invite two guests on the rifle range and four guests on the skeet range.
"We'll have a lot of shooting programs and things that will develop soon for Families," he said.
Col. William Nuckols, director of the TRADOC Capability Manager-Armored Brigade Combat Team, visited the open house with his wife Julie and son Will. Nuckols said they look forward to visiting the complex more often.
"We're very happy about the range opening and it's absolutely beautiful," he said. "We live right across the street … it's centrally located for the community."
Annual memberships are now available for $70 for individuals and $100 for Families.
"A lot of people are asking if we will honor they're membership after the Rifle and Pistol Club closed and we will," Hughes said. "If they have a few months left on their membership then we will absorb that."
Customers are encouraged to fill out a membership packet prior to visiting the range. The packet can also be accessed via the FMWR web site. The packet process typically takes 15 minutes. All firearms must be registered prior to entering the installation in accordance with MCoE Regulation 190-11.
Recreational Shooting Complex upcoming event and operating hours
•The Recreational Shooting Complex will host its annual Hunter Zero Day from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 21 and Oct. 5. The event is is free and open to the public. For more information, call 706-545-6158.
•Rifle and Pistol Range Hours Summer Hours (March through September): Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
•Winter Hours (October through Feburary): Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Trap and Skeet Range Hours* Tuesday-Thursday: 4-7 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
*The range may be opened for groups of five or more outside of normal hours. Contact the range manager for scheduling at 706-545-6158.