By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)June 15, 2017
Training is a constant on Fort Leonard Wood as the home to the Engineer, Chemical and Military Police regiments, as well as several Initial Entry Training brigades.
Behind all training is an organization often overlooked; Range Operations as part of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.
"Most people don't even know we are out here," said Keith Campbell, Range Operations officer. "We work out here 24/7 and are responsible for the entire range complex. If Range Ops stops for a day, training would stop."
The range complex at Fort Leonard Wood is made up of nearly everything outside of the cantonment area, Campbell added. It consists of 54,000 acres of 28 small-arms ranges, six demolitions ranges, the hand grenade range and various training areas.
"We make sure everybody who comes out here to train daily leaves at the end of the day with all their training accomplished to standard safely," said Jeff Cornuet, Range Control supervisor.
Range Operations is broken down into three main sections. They are basically daily operations, future operations and maintenance, Campbell said.
Daily operations, run by Cornuet, involves real-time management of ranges in use every day. Future operations, managed by Jeff Walsh, operations officer, focuses on scheduling prior to the day of training and looks for potential future growth.
Future growth includes determining how Fort Leonard Wood will manage an increase in its training load.
"We have the right number of ranges in the right place to support the additional Soldiers," Walsh said.
"We think we can support all the additional training requirements without having overlap," Cornuet added.
The staff of 28, mostly veterans, have a lot of experience running training and ranges, and military knowledge in general, Campbell said.
"I don't think that some of the commanders and units on the installation are aware of what we can do for them," Cornuet said. "Any training they would like to do that they are unsure of, or don't know how to plan; all they need to do is come talk to us."
To contact Range Control for information, call 573.596.0131, ext. 60171.
(Editor's note: Look for the second part of the Range Operations story next week about the maintenance section.)