News Article View

“The Line is Ready” – CATM Revives Firing Range

Members of 31st SFS Combat Arms pose for a group photo at Aviano’s indoor firing range at Aviano Air Base, Italy, June 20, 2019. Staff Sgt. Brandee Hahn, combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron said the team put in a lot of work to get the range reopened. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Members of 31st SFS Combat Arms pose for a group photo at Aviano’s indoor firing range at Aviano Air Base, Italy, June 20, 2019. Staff Sgt. Brandee Hahn, combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron said the team put in a lot of work to get the range reopened. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

A student from the Air Force Qualification Course trains at Aviano’s indoor firing range at Aviano Air Base, Italy, June 20, 2019. The student fired at the prone-supported position. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

A student from the Air Force Qualification Course trains at Aviano’s indoor firing range at Aviano Air Base, Italy, June 20, 2019. The student fired at the prone-supported position. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Tech. Sgt. Terence Mimms, NCOIC of Combat Arms from the 31st Security Forces Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, watches students in the Air Force Qualification Course at Aviano’s indoor firing range, June 20, 2019. Mimms said he feels ecstatic about the range reopening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Tech. Sgt. Terence Mimms, NCOIC of Combat Arms from the 31st Security Forces Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, watches students in the Air Force Qualification Course at Aviano’s indoor firing range, June 20, 2019. Mimms said he feels ecstatic about the range reopening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Staff Sgt. Keal Grable combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, reviews a paper target, June 20, 2019. Grable taught an Air Force Qualification Course with 12 students. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Staff Sgt. Keal Grable combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, reviews a paper target, June 20, 2019. Grable taught an Air Force Qualification Course with 12 students. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

A student from the Air Force Qualification Course at Aviano’s indoor firing range, loads a magazine, June 20, 2019. The student was one of the 12 others in the class. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

A student from the Air Force Qualification Course at Aviano’s indoor firing range, loads a magazine, June 20, 2019. The student was one of the 12 others in the class. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Staff Sgt. Brandee Hahn, combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, teaches an Air Force Qualification Course at Aviano’s indoor firing range, June 20, 2019. There were 12 members in the class. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

Staff Sgt. Brandee Hahn, combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, teaches an Air Force Qualification Course at Aviano’s indoor firing range, June 20, 2019. There were 12 members in the class. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy. --

“You guys better be excited right now because we are going to fire today,” said Staff Sgt. Brandee Hahn, combat arms instructor from the 31st Security Forces Squadron, to her class before she explained that the firing range was running again.

Aviano’s indoor firing range reopened June 12, 2019, for the first time in over a year.

The range officially shut down last May for repair and reconstruction in order to meet the Italian recertification said Tech. Sgt. Terence Mimms, NCOIC of Combat Arms from the 31st Security Forces Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

The range had to meet both U.S Air Force and Italian standards, in order for it to reopen.

Members from several organizations played an important role in the range reopening.

However, the nine members from the combat arms worked rigorously to get Aviano’s indoor firing range recertified.

“Our team within the last year worked hard and relentlessly to ensure this range was back and running,” said Mimms.

Having the range open here relieves a lot of stress because with it being closed, military members from Aviano had to travel to various locations like Vicenza in order to receive training.

“It’s the best thing that could have ever happened to us so far. It’s been down for so long and going to Vicenza has been so exhausting,” said Hahn. “There are a lot of moving pieces to go to Vicenza that people don’t see, between the Carabinieri escorts, medical support, getting the weapons and ammo down there, it’s tasking. So, having a facility here that we can teach and shoot all in the same day is beautiful.”

During a deployment uptick, members even had to travel to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England to receive training.

“Last year when we had a deployment influx, we had to go to Lakenheath, so there is a lot of obstacles that are in place that takes us around outside of our normal scope, being that we didn’t have a range here,” said Mimms.

Aviano’s indoor firing range reopening ensures that the 31st Fighter Wing are always Lethal and Rapidly Ready.

“It’s going to cut down a lot of time and a lot of stress, because if a last minute tasking comes down, we don’t have to stress about getting another range, we can just have them here,” said Hahn. “We no longer had to worry about all the moving parts, because everything was right here, it’s centralized.”

Finally, after a little over a year, Aviano’s indoor range is back-up and running.

“The line is ready,” said Mimms.