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New firing range bolsters Buckley’s mission readiness

From left to right, Maj. Joseph Farinash, 460th Security Forces Squadron commander, Col. Trevor Wentlandt, 460th Mission Support Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Max Van Ausdal, 460th SFS security forces manager, cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec 19, 2019.

From left to right, Maj. Joseph Farinash, 460th Security Forces Squadron commander, Col. Trevor Wentlandt, 460th Mission Support Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Max Van Ausdal, 460th SFS security forces manager, cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec 19, 2019. The new range will ensure security forces members and Buckley members are properly trained in small arms weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley N. Blevins)

Staff Sgt. Britton Smith, 460th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, teaches Chief Master Sgt. Jeannie Sousa, 460th Medical Group superintendent, how to properly hold a weapon at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019.

Staff Sgt. Britton Smith, 460th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, teaches Chief Master Sgt. Jeannie Sousa, 460th Medical Group superintendent, how to properly hold a weapon at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019. At the grand opening of the new CATM facility members of Buckley were able to shoot at the firing range. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley N. Blevins)

Chief Master Sgt. Jeannie Sousa, 460th Medical Group superintendent, smiles after she finished firing at the firing range at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019.

Chief Master Sgt. Jeannie Sousa, 460th Medical Group superintendent, smiles after she finished firing at the firing range at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019. Buckley members were given a tour of the new CATM facility to see how it differs from the last range. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley N. Blevins)

Major. Joseph Farinash, 460th Security Forces Squadron commander, loads ammunition into a clip at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019.

Major. Joseph Farinash, 460th Security Forces Squadron commander, loads ammunition into a clip at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019. The CATM range held its grand opening which included a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour of the facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley N. Blevins)

Staff Sgt. Britton Smith, 460th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, demonstrates the capabilities of an M4 rifle at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019.

Staff Sgt. Britton Smith, 460th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, demonstrates the capabilities of an M4 rifle at the 460th Security Forces Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 19, 2019. The demonstration was part of a tour following the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the new CATM facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley N. Blevins)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The sound of gunshots echoed through the range. The smell of gunpowder filled the air. Empty shells bounced across the ground. Instructors yelled words of encouragement as the bullet hit the target. 

Buckley Air Force Base opened a new indoor Combat Arms Training and Maintenance facility on base Dec. 19, 2019. The construction was a seven year project between the 460th Security Forces Squadron and the Aurora Police Department. 

The previous CATM range was built in 1985. Members would have to report to the security forces building to participate in the four-hour classroom tutorial which focused on topics such as safety, parts breakdown, clearing, weapons care, firing basics, sighting and breath control. After the class, members would report to the range to participate in the live-fire qualification. 

“One of the benefits of this new facility is that all Combat Arms instruction and firing can now take place at one location,” said Master Sgt. Michael Thomas, 460th SFS superintendent. 

The new facility contains office space for instructors, classrooms, a weapons and range equipment maintenance area, an alarmed weapons and ammunition storage vault, a 14 position indoor firing range, space for a computerized training simulator, a cleaning and degreasing room, range supplies and equipment storage room, and a range target storage and repair room. 

“The new range allows for Combat Arms personnel to train and qualify service members in an environment free of wind, rain and snow 365 days a year,” said Tech Sgt. Tanner Anderson, 460th SFS Combat Arms NCO in charge.

The purpose of the CATM range doesn’t just benefit security forces members. The range ensures members of Buckley who are deploying are mission ready.

“Buckley’s brand new $10 million range will ensure that the installation’s Combat Arms instructors will continue to provide the Air Force and its combatant commanders with highly trained personnel ready to deploy to our nation’s battlefields,” said Anderson.

The new range will also ensure the SFS, Buckley members and the Aurora Police Department are well-trained and knowledgeable in order to keep themselves and others safe while in the line of duty. 

“Whether we’re teaching members preparing for deployment, Office of Special Investigations agents, defenders or just those who are getting ready to move to a new installation, none of it would have been possible without my hard-working cadre, Mr. Kelly Carney, Staff Sgt. Britton Smith and Staff Sgt. William Brown,” said Anderson. “They have all been vital to accomplishing the 460th Space Wing’s mission.”

For more information regarding the CATM range, please call them at 720-847-6317. 

 

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