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Shock-absorbing structures on Yuma range cut re-building cost, provide realistic training

By Lance Cpl. Laura A. Mapes | | March 13, 2008

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New, shock-absorbing, concrete structures were built on the Barry M. Goldwater Range near the Marine Corps Air Station here Feb. 15 in order to cut re-building costs and to provide more realistic training for the Marines who use them.

 The new buildings replace previous ones made of wood, which were usually destroyed after every live-fire exercise.

 The facades are made of a concrete and fiber mixture, which allows them absorb the impact of rounds, instead of cracking or breaking like regular concrete.

 The buildings, located on the Convoy Security Operations Course, resemble structures Marines find while deployed to Iraq.

 Seventeen shock absorbing concrete structures were built over 650 meters of the range. They are built 20-120 meters off of the road that goes through Murrayville, a simulated combat town.

 Marines training for deployment, such as those going through the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course or exercise Desert Talon, use Murrayville to practice repelling attacks to convoys.

 Each building is equipped with pop-up targets used to simulate enemy troops.

 The buildings are eight to 10 feet tall and each panel of the facade is 30 inches thick. They are designed to take small-arms fire, such as 7.62 mm or 5.56 mm rounds.

 While the new structures cost almost $1 million to build, they will save the station money because they don't have to be re-built every time they are used, said Master Sgt. Jon Gordon, future plans officer with Range Operations.

 "The facades will be much more cost effective in the end," said Gordon. "It will pay itself off in the long-run."

 "It’s a fair trade in the name of realistic training," said Gordon.


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