The Illinois National Guard (ILNG) hosted federal, state and local leaders to officially dedicate the upgraded Automated Record Fire (ARF) Range at the Marseilles Training Center (MTC) in Marseilles, Illinois, July 23.
“For nearly 20 years, the Marseilles Training Center has been a critical asset supporting our mobilizing units, and also supporting the readiness of the whole Illinois National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “The upgrades we’re unveiling here today will ensure a constant state of readiness for decades into the future.”
The $4.6 million federally-funded project, which began in October, 2019 and was completed in May, updated the target systems and expanded the ARF by 10 firing positions.
The upgraded ARF Range doubles the number of Soldiers and Airmen who can qualify in a day.
“As we continue to modernize our training areas we are ensuring our Soldiers and Airmen are ready to immediately assume and accomplish the missions they’ve been assigned and quickly return to their families and civilian jobs and lives,” Neely said. “Expanding our rifle qualification range, and modernizing it means more troops can complete their required marksmanship training and qualification in less time.
In addition to supporting unit and individual readiness, the MTC is also important to the local economy.
“Our newly expanded range will reduce the need for some of our larger units to look to training areas outside Illinois in order to complete their marksmanship training,” Neely said. “The troops who train here also support local businesses.”
In addition to ILNG units, the MTC also hosts Boy Scouts events, Civil Air Patrol, Navy Sea Cadets, and Reserve Officer Training Corps programs
“We also host federal, State and local law enforcement agencies who use our training area and ranges to ensure they are prepared for any number of emergency situations,” Neely said. “The Marseilles Training Center is a valuable asset that allows us to support some very diverse military and first responder training that is centrally located in Illinois.”