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A soldier with the 5th Maintenance Company fires at a target last week at the Breintenwald 300-meter range in Landstuhl, Germany.

A soldier with the 5th Maintenance Company fires at a target last week at the Breintenwald 300-meter range in Landstuhl, Germany. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

A soldier with the 5th Maintenance Company fires at a target last week at the Breintenwald 300-meter range in Landstuhl, Germany.

A soldier with the 5th Maintenance Company fires at a target last week at the Breintenwald 300-meter range in Landstuhl, Germany. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

Soldiers with the 5th Maintenance Company fire at targets last week at the Breitenwald 300-meter range, which recently reopened for use after four years.

Soldiers with the 5th Maintenance Company fire at targets last week at the Breitenwald 300-meter range, which recently reopened for use after four years. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

LANDSTUHL, Germany — Up close, the plastic, humanoid targets are hardly threatening.

But the 5th Maintenance Company “Renegades” gave ’em hell anyway from nearly 1,000 feet away.

The smell of burnt gunpowder and the sound of M-16 gunfire filled the air earlier last week at the newly reopened 300-meter range at the 7th Army Training Command Breitenwald Range/ Local Training Area complex.

Thursday was the first time the 5th Maintenance Company used the facility’s 300-meter range since it reopened last month.

Trying to hit a target from 300 meters, which is roughly 984 feet, requires a high degree of concentration, said Capt. Joe Grande, company commander.

“This is a lot more realistic than firing at a paper target 25 meters away,” he said.

Following $150,000 in repairs, the 300-meter range opened July 22 after a four-year shutdown for safety reasons, said William L. Pierce, chief of Training Support Center Kaiserslautern.

“The range is here to support the soldier,” he said. “The object of this is to hone your go-to-war skills.”

The nine baffles had deteriorated because of weather during the range’s 50-year existence. The baffles, which prevent stray shots from sailing over the range, resemble a series of enormous hurdles.

Now repaired, the elevated, wood-covered baffles are no longer a safety concern and the 300- meter range is open for business.

“The soldiers are tickled to death,” Pierce said. “They tell me, ‘We have been waiting on this for a long time,’ and, ‘This is awesome.’”

Instead of going to Grafenwöhr or Baumholder, Kaiserslautern units now only have to travel to the Breitenwald range near Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for a chance to set their sights on targets 300 meters away. In accordance with U.S. Army, Europe regulation 350-1, soldiers are required to qualify twice a year on a 300-meter range.

The soldiers begin by squeezing off 20 rounds at the 300-meter distance. Then, they take 10 shots from 200 meters and fire 10 more rounds at 100 meters.

The range and what it will do for the soldiers in his unit impressed 1st Sgt. Anthony Bargaineer with the 5th Maintenance Company.

“It builds soldiers’ confidence at farther distances,” he said.

To schedule time on the range, call DSN: 486-8339.


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