Devens, Massachusetts – Fort Devens RFTA Range Complex personnel and leadership celebrated the completion of the new Range Control building on South Post. Joseph Cunningham, who served as the narrator of the event, welcomed distinguished guests, military and civilian partners and thanked those responsible for bringing the project to completion.
The Range Complex has been around for over 100 years since Fort Devens RFTA was an active duty garrison. While the garrison is no longer active, it still has a critical mission as a Reserve Training Area. Members from all branches of the military as well as FBI and local law enforcement come to train several times a year. The range complex houses 26 ranges and 24 facilities with various terrain and mission capabilities to facilitate different training environments. These ranges include a rappel tower to train personnel on insertion techniques, small arms ranges with both paper and pop up targets, and an active drop zone to train personnel on parachute operations.
The Range Complex is one of two range complexes in the New England area to allow for this training type. The other range in New England is at Camp Ethan Allen, both ranges are in high demand as units train to maintain their readiness. Fort Devens RFTA must continually implement modifications and upgrades to keep up with changing technology and mission requirements.
The range control building is one of the new modifications happening within the next few years. The range complex is also slotted to have changes made to an existing machine gun range to modernize and realign the current range. These changes make the range safer by putting the surface danger zone entirely within the training area.
The previous range control building was over 20 years old and no longer had all the capabilities the personnel needed to operate at full capacity. The Army began planning for the $2.45 million project in 2016 to support the need for state-of-the-art equipment and a more up to date facility.
The new 5,000 square foot building allows for consolidation of all Range Complex employees into one location; the new building is a much-needed upgrade from the 1,300 square foot building they were previously operating out of daily. “The new building creates a one-stop-shop for units, creating a more efficient operating environment for those troops,” says Tom Dodson, Range Operations Officer.
The event concluded with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by Garrison Commander Lt Col Lindsey Halter and Range Complex personnel Jeff Quinn, Tom Dodson, Daniel Sanchez, and Joseph Cunningham.