PORTLAND, Ore. --
The 142nd Security Forces Squadron (SFS) officially announced the opening of their new 100 meter indoor firing range during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Portland Air National Guard Base, Oregon, Dec. 3, 2021.
This momentous occasion was celebrated with a touch of flare–caution tape substituted the ribbon and instead of a traditional cutting of the ribbon, it was shot at by Oregon Air National Guard commander, Brig. Gen. Donna Prigmore, and 142nd SFS commander, Lt. Col. Ryan Barton.
During the event, Prigmore shed some light on the dedication of the 142nd SFS defenders.
“It’s so gratifying to me to see not only this facility here, but when I look at the main gate, and the improvements that have been made there, when I look at the vehicles that you now have, that six years ago were nothing like what you see out there today– I am so glad that we’re taking better care of our defenders,” said Prigmore. “Because they obviously do an incredible job here.”
The new range was built to replace the 25 meter outdoor range on the southwest side of the base. The use of the outdoor range has been largely contingent on atmospheric conditions to include weather as well as available daytime and nighttime hours. When the range is in use, the west end of the base is made inaccessible for safety reasons. This often impacts other aspects of the mission as work centers, the base running path, and the gym are located in this area.
Barton introduced the new arms range, emphasizing its contribution to improving the training of the 142nd Wing service members.
The indoor firing range allows defenders to train unconstrained by outdoor lighting or weather conditions. The SFS now has the ability to simulate a variety of lighting conditions to include strobes and flashing lights. Additionally, shooting can be conducted without hindrance to the mission being carried out elsewhere.
The new 100 meter range also allows shooters to train to the full capacity of their weapon systems. The primary weapons used by SFS are the M4 and M9 which have firing capacities up to and exceeding 50 meters.
The former range offered “basic level qualification and minimal level proficiency,” said Barton.
The new range allows defenders to obtain high-quality shooting experience on a more consistent basis, enhancing readiness.
“You've built a more proficient defender that is prepared to operate in any environment that they may see,” said Barton. “and we get that from the indoor range.”