Hawaii Air National Guard unveils new indoor shooting range

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt Bronson Colton, 154th Security Forces Squadron (SFS), grabs a pinch of salt during the blessing ceremony of the 154th SFS Indoor Firing Range, Aug. 8, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Salt is spread throughout the facility by the chaplain and members of the 154th SFS as a way to purify and protect the facility.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt Bronson Colton, 154th Security Forces Squadron (SFS), grabs a pinch of salt during the blessing ceremony of the 154th SFS Indoor Firing Range, Aug. 8, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Salt is spread throughout the facility by the chaplain and members of the 154th SFS as a way to purify and protect the facility.

Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz

154th Wing Public Affairs

The Hawaii Air National Guard debuted its new indoor live-fire shooting range in a ceremony held Aug. 8 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The new 6,000 square foot unit located on the grounds of the Hawaii Air National Guard gives the HIANG a capability it has never had before, the ability to qualify and train its Airmen in small arms fire and prepare them for deployments in-house.

“Small arms qualifications was conducted at the only USAF firing range on the island, which happens to be located approximately 20 miles away on Schofield Barracks,” said Maj. Dane Minami, 154th Security Forces Squadron commander.

“The HIANG had to compete for scheduling of the firing range with both the active duty and the Reserves and because we did not own the range, we normally had low priority,” he said.

According to Minami, in addition to improving readiness capability, benefits include cost savings due to the reduction in the resources and manpower previously needed to coordinate, schedule and transport Airmen to an off-site firing range.

“For a traditional Guards-man, time during drill weekends is a precious commodity. Having an indoor firing range right here in our own backyard saves time, money and gas for our unit members and all Hawaii Air National Guard personnel with weapons qualification requirements,” Minami said.

“The ability to schedule live-firing at any time of the day and night or week will allow us to more effectively support the entire organization with short notice deployment and annual qualification requirements,” he said.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Stan Osserman (retired), former commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard, aims down range after the blessing of the 154th Security Force Squadron Indoor Firing Range at JBPHH.  U.S. Air National Guard photos by Airman 1st Class Robert Cabuco

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Stan Osserman (retired), former commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard, aims down range after the blessing of the 154th Security Force Squadron Indoor Firing Range at JBPHH. U.S. Air National Guard photos by Airman 1st Class Robert Cabuco


The modular containerized small arms training sets (MCATS), as its name implies, utilizes a prefabricated and modular design concept. Prefabrication of the units was done by a company in Nevada and then shipped to the Hawaii Air National Guard where it was assembled on an empty asphalt area on the HIANG’s compound.

Because of this, many of the pre-construction costs, such as engineering, architecture and site prep were minimized. Its modular design allows it to be disassembled and moved to another location should the need arise.

The MCSATS has 12 shooting lanes and is fully enclosed with heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Everything from target control to shooting environment is monitored and adjusted from a master control room.

Depending on the training requirements, lighting systems can simulate low light or night time shooting conditions, and an automated target retrieval system makes feedback to the shooter timely and convenient.

The ceremony, which included a traditional Hawaiian blessing, signified the range’s first official day of operation and was the culmination of months of planning and procurement challenges.

“The list [of challenges] is long and wide, everything from having to build a standard configuration that the Guard Bureau and USAF accepted,” said retired Brig. Gen. Stan Osserman, a former commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard.

“Then there was the typical case of Hawaii being so far away from Washington, D.C. that we couldn’t always make sure we kept our priority place in line. We nipped that one on my last trip to D.C. and got the HIANG put back in the right place,” he said.

While the firing range’s primary use is to train HIANG Airmen, there are plans to eventually make the facility available to other Department of Defense organizations.

The facility is the third one of its kind in the Air National Guard. The Nevada Air National Guard and New York Air National Guard began operating similar facilities in 2014.

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Category: News