Small Arms Ranges
Small arms ranges allow live-fire qualification training with weapons of a small caliber, i.e. handgun, rifle, shotgun, or machine gun. Small arms training is designed to train a soldier to be “qualified” in the use and maintenance of his or her assigned weapon. There are currently six active small arms ranges on Camp Edwards, which the Massachusetts Army National Guard uses for weapons familiarization, weapons zeroing (essentially customizing it to give the soldier a more accurate shot) and qualification.
The current active small arms ranges on Camp Edwards are Echo
, and Sierra
Range is currently inactive, but is planned to be reconstructed in the future. All active small arms ranges have been approved by the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) in accordance with the Chapter 47 of the Acts of 2002
and its associated Environmental Performance Standards
(EPSs) and in coordination with the Massachusetts Army National Guard (MAARNG) at Camp Edwards. Small arms range design and Operations
, and Monitoring Plans
(OMMPs) are approved by the EMC. Once approved, the range can become active for live fire. The design and the OMMP are developed to reduce environmental impacts to the greatest extent possible with adaptive management and continuous review and approval the modus operandi.
Lead ammunition firing resumed at Tango Range in August 2007, at Kilo Range in March 2009, and at Juliet Range in August 2009. These ranges have a STAPP™ Bullet Catcher
system that receives and contains the lead rounds fired.
With the military’s development of copper-based ammunition for its weapons systems, the MAARNG has moved to developing its small arms ranges to manage copper munitions.
With exception of its pistol range (see Echo Range), the use of lead ammunition at Camp Edwards is being phased out. Accordingly, as funding is available the STAPP™ systems at Juliet and Kilo Ranges will be dismantled.
The STAPP™ system at Tango Range was decommissioned and removed in November 2017. In 2020, the range will be converted to a zeroing range for copper ammunition. Soldiers will be able to zero their weapons at Tango Range and then move to the adjacent Sierra Range to conduct their required weapons qualification.
is an automated 300 meter pop-up modified record of fire range using copper ammunition only and is used to qualify soldiers in marksmanship proficiency. The EMC approved use of Sierra Range in June 2012.
is a basic 25-meter firing range using copper ammunition to train soldiers on the skills necessary to align the sights on their weapons and practice basic marksmanship techniques against stationary targets. India Range was approved in May 2013.
Echo Range, a dual-purpose range, is a Combat Pistol/Military Police Qualification Course
(CPMPQC), consisting of 15 firing lanes with seven pop-up targets per lane offset along the firing lanes at varying distances with one fixed Military Police target at the end of the lane. In July 2017, the EMC approved the range.
is used to train and test individual soldiers on the skills necessary to engage and defeat stationary target emplacements with the 40mm grenade launcher. In 2012, EPA Region 1 and the EMC approved returning to live firing on Lima Range using the M781 40mm Training Round. The M781 is a practice grenade that is fired as a projectile composed of a hollow plastic “windshield” filled with Day-Glo-Orange marking powder. The formula for the Day-Glo-Orange marking powder is considered to be non-toxic to human health and the environment.
During 2015, the MAARNG was awarded a MILCON
(Military Construction) project to construct a Multi-Purpose Machine Gun Range
(MPMG) in 2020 on Camp Edwards at the current KD
Range. An MPMG is where soldiers train and qualify with automatic weapons. The approximately $11.5 million project consists of $9.7 for range construction and $1.8 million for targetry. Environmental contracting and review of the project began in May 2018, and will include review under both the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) and the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act
(MEPA). The project is anticipated to begin construction in May 2020 with project completion in May 2022. All these processes are coordinated with the EMC.
The Single Environmental Impact Report - Multi-Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG) Range at the Known Distance (KD) Range
, is available on the Publications
page of this website.
Points of Contact for Questions and/or further Information:
Massachusetts Army National Guard Environmental & Readiness Center
Michael Ciaranca, Deputy Director
Environmental Management Commission
Len Pinaud, MassDEP, Acting EMC Environmental Officer
US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1
USEPA MMR Team Member