National Guard moves to upgrade pistol range

Difficulties arising from a flooding river have led National Guard officials to seek permission to improve a Guilderland training facility, according to information provided by the military outlet.

The New York National Guard is in the planning stages of rebuilding the Guilderland Weekend Training Site pistol range used by the National Guard, reservists and law enforcement officials.

The training facility is located on the Normanskill Creek, and is susceptible to flooding when the water rises, according to information provided by the National Guard.

If it's flooded, you can't train there, said Eric Durr, a representative of the National Guard. "The pop-up targets don't work that great."

The National Guard is projecting a 2012 start date to begin the improvements, which would be paid for with federal and some state funds.

Durr said the training facility is used for a number of activities, and has needed the improvements for some time.

"This facility provides a rifle range and a pistol range," Durr said. He added that it is also used for small amounts of infantry tactical training.

It is located close to 20 miles west of the City of Albany, and rests on 1,613 acres, although only 200 are used for training with the rest sitting on wetlands. The gun ranges take up 41 acres, according to the National Guard.

Durr said the upgrade effort is in the preliminary stages, and the National Guard is in the process of obtaining permission form the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to go ahead with the improvements.

The review identifies three options. The first option is to proceed with improvements on the facility, the second is to implement improvements without the need for construction, thus requiring some training to be moved off site, and the third is no action.

The statement attempted to determine the "physical, environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic aspects of the project area and its region of influence."

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