Automated targets, new firing points part of Khe Sanh facelift
By Cpl. Amanda Harris
| | April 18, 2003
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- In an effort to make the Khe Sanh Range a more effective training tool, WFTBn. is in the process of installing newly-upgraded firing points and self-moving targets.
The project, which began April 4, is ahead of schedule for its Monday debut thanks to the hard work of the WFTBn. Marines.
The newly upgraded range will include 16 firing points that are 21 feet across with seven staggered targets per lane.
Recruits will still fire from the window, rooftop, bunker and rock pile, but now the targets will pop up and down on their own, said Staff Sgt. Villie Encalade, project supervisor.
"Our biggest challenge was finding a time when recruits weren't coming through," said Encalade.
Thanks to a no ship week in mid-February, no recruits were scheduled to fire on the unknown distance range during the two-week renovation process.
During the closure, Hue City Range is hosting the crucible recruits who normally use the range. When recruits return to Khe Sanh, a new target system will be in place.
The newly re-designed range will include changing what recruits kneel on and lie in while they fire.
"The range will have concrete slabs covered in outdoor carpeting for both the rock pile and window firing points," said Encalade. "They used to be covered in limestone and it would destroy cammies, now we hope to get the cammies to last longer."
Encalade said the Khe Sanh range staff has been working hard to get the project done correctly and as quickly as possible.
"Everything's got to be perfect, so we've just been staying longer and getting it done," said Sgt. Donald Retreage, marksmanship instructor, Khe Sanh Range. "It's something all of us can do together, and once we're done we can see what we completed. It's a good way to break up all of the monotony."