New shooting range unveiled

VIENNA — Local leaders were on hand Friday to tour the Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s new $8.5 million Combat Arms Training Management indoor firing range — a facility that will provide the best available training for the 910th Airlift Wing, according to commander Col. Dan Sarachene.

The range, which also will be available for use by local police departments, simulates a variety of scenarios. The facility is equipped with 21 lanes, each of which has a control panel and targets on motorized tracks. Targets can be moved closer to a shooter or further away.

Light and noise settings are meant to mimic what military and law enforcement personnel might encounter in tactical environments. Once the nearby old range is demolished, military and law enforcement will be able to bring cars into the facility to train for tactical situations such as traffic stops and firing at vehicles.

“This is the culmination of a lot of effort,” Sarachene said. “Our congressional delegation really worked the levers of government to ensure financing.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he and his colleagues spent a lot of time getting funding for the range.

“We knew we needed a new one,” said Portman. Allowing local law enforcement to also utilize the range makes the facility “a gift to the entire community,” Portman said.

U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, said obtaining funding for the range was a bipartisan effort.

“We understand how important this base is to our national security,” said Ryan.

As for the long-term future of the base, which generates $97 million into the local economy, Portman said it is important to keep pumping money into it.

“The military doesn’t want to divest what it just invested in,” Portman said.