WRA provided complete engineering design services simultaneously for two Modified Record Fire (MRF) ranges at Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright, Alaska to support the FY13 range program. These design projects were part of WRA’s 5-year, Small-Business, Range and Training Program (RTLP) contract with the Huntsville Corps of Engineers (USACE-Huntsville). The USACE Alaska District directed and managed this specific delivery order.
The MRF range is used to train and test individual soldiers on the skills necessary to identify, engage, and defeat stationary infantry targets for day/night qualification requirements with the M16 and M4 rifles. The 16-lane, 300-meter MRF range configuration and training capabilities are a standard, integral component within a Qualification Training Range (QTR) complex.
Both the Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright MRF facilities were retrofits to existing MRF ranges that were substandard in terms of target configuration, berm specifications, and electrical infrastructure. WRA was charged with redesigning both ranges to meet current Huntsville TC25-8 standards.
Challenges associated with the Fort Richardson MRF included a requirement to salvage the existing firing line location while preserving nearly all trees throughout the target-rich range complex. As a result, WRA custom designed each MRF lane individually to align within the existing clear-cut lanes between trees while still meeting current target layout standards. WRA also design a ROCA area expansion to include all required Huntsville standard ROCA buildings.
Challenges associated with the Fort Wainwright MRF included a substantial expansion of the existing ROCA facility to include all required standard support buildings while designing around a significant amount of structurally inadequate permafrost soil, numerous existing power line easements and setbacks, and a unique requirements to accommodate staging for up to 18 Stryker vehicles. The existing range was also located partially within a jurisdictional wetland, therefore minimizing wetland impacts and maintaining existing drainage conveyance was paramount to the successful design of this project.