130th Engineers support Marines, revamp K-Bay firing range

| October 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
1st Lt. Angela Smith,  8th Theater Sustainment Command The  3rd Plt., 643rd Eng. Co., builds concrete pads at MCBH’s Range 1, Sept. 29. The concrete pads will be the base for walls that will encase moveable infantry targets used by the Marines as part of advanced marksmanship training.

1st Lt. Angela Smith, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
The 3rd Plt., 643rd Eng. Co., builds concrete pads at MCBH’s Range 1, Sept. 29. The concrete pads will be the base for walls that will encase moveable infantry targets used by the Marines as part of advanced marksmanship training.

2nd Lt. Rachel Miller
130th Engineer Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — A group of 130th Engineer Brigade troops spent the past six weeks turning a flat asphalt firing line, here, into a multifunctional range, with three shooting towers, where Marine snipers can train to engage targets from a variety of angles.

The landscape surrounding Firing Range 1 is peppered with construction equipment, building materials and Soldiers from the 1st and 3rd Platoons of the 643rd Eng. Company, the 2nd Platoon of 561st Eng. Co., and the 142nd Survey and Design Detachment.

The engineers are all part of the brigade’s 84th Eng. Battalion.

During the workweek, Soldiers quartered in Marine barracks, ate Marine chow in Marine dining facilities, exercised in the “Semper Fit” gym and literally saw a different side of Oahu.

“This project offers a variety of construction applications,” said Sgt. Kemuel Bankhead, plumber and team leader with 1st Plt. “It offers a valuable opportunity for leaders to train their Soldiers on those different skills in a setting with real problem-solving examples.”

The range improvement, scheduled to conclude in November, is considered a field training exercise with tasks that include drafting design plans, heavy earthmoving and excavation; constructing concrete emplacements for targets; and installing façade building fronts to conceal the targets.

The open area of the improved range will have 26 faux building fronts concealing targets that will pop up and move laterally across the shooter’s line of sight, giving Marines the flexibility to train and improve their realistic, advanced marksmanship skills.

Bankhead said that even off the project site, the Marine Corps base offers a new experience for many of the engineers: Daily construction in a still-active range complex necessitates close coordination with MCBH Range Control, which provides feedback on construction and assists with logistical support.

One of the newest Soldiers observed that it’s great to see how Army engineers make a real-world difference to the Marine Corps, as well as the Army.

“It’s my first project as an engineer in the Army, so I’m definitely learning a lot,” said Pvt. Bradley Wellborn, carpentry and masonry specialist with 1st Plt.

Wellborn has been with platoon for about a month.

“This is a great introduction to my job in the Army and Hawaii,” he said.

(Editor’s note: Miller is assigned to the 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Brigade.)

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