Army plans new firing range at Camp Hansen
CAMP FOSTER — The U.S. Army plans to build a new firing range at Camp Hansen, a spokesman for the Defense Facilities Administration Agency said Friday.
The spokesman said U.S. Forces Japan recently informed the Japanese government that the Army will build a rifle range near existing Range 3.
The new three-story facility will feature 10 shooting booths on the second and third floors, according to an announcement by the agency. Rappelling facilities will be built along both ends of the building.
Additionally, targets will be installed between 330 feet and 3,960 feet away from the building.
The newly planned facility at Range 3 will be enclosed with walls on all but one side.
“We were informed that the direction that shooting takes place faces toward mountains, with no possibility of muzzles pointing toward residential areas,” a news release said, adding that there will be little problem of noise.
In July 2005, thousands of local residents and protesters gathered at Camp Hansen’s main gate when U.S. Army Special Forces began training at a new urban-warfare complex built near Range 4.
Residents claimed the shooting house was too close to the local community. The uproar caused the Japanese government to offer footing a bill for another facility located farther from the residential area to replace what was a new $3 million facility.
The Japanese government said that while Hansen’s new range is important for readiness, they will be asking the military to keep the community in mind.
“As Government of Japan, we believe that the facility is necessary to maintain training requirements of troops to pursue the goal of the bilateral security treaty,” the release quoted the government saying. “Meanwhile, we will ask the military to keep the training to the minimum necessity to minimize impacts on local community.”