Surface danger zone ensure public safety, mission readiness, continued partnership

by Joint Region Marianas
Joint Region Marianas

ASAN, Guam (Jan. 17, 2019) -- The Finegayan Small Arms Range and the associated safety danger zone on Naval Computer and Telecommunication Station Guam has been safely and effectively used by the military, local and federal agencies since the mid-1970s.

There is no proposed expansion of the existing range, nor are there any operational changes or proposals to use higher caliber firearms at the range. The administrative action concerning the SDZ formalizes existing operation of the existing range.

To accomplish this, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is codifying the establishment of the SDZ, having put out the information for public comment.

The SDZ has been included to ensure the safety of local fisherman and mariners, providing awareness so they can plan for when the range is in use. The arms permitted at the range are all small caliber, to include hand pistols, rifles and shotguns. As with all Department of Defense small arms ranges, arms are fired into a substantial earthen berm, with the SDZ serving as an additional layer of safety.

As stated in the federal public notice, all military services, federal and local law enforcement, to include the Guam National Guard, Guam Police Department, NCIS and the FBI use the range for mission critical small arms proficiency training.

The SDZ was fully evaluated in the 2015 Mariana Islands Training and Testing Environmental Impact Statement and Overseas Environmental Impact Statement.

Safety compliance at the Finegayan Small Arms Range is vital. The SDZ ensures the range will be run safely for both the organizations using it as well as mariners and fisherman who enter the area with the following:

- An advisory will be broadcast and made available by the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF channel 16.

- When the range is in not use, the SDZ will be open to normal maritime traffic and all activities to include anchoring and loitering.

- While the range is in use, vessels will need to transit quickly through the SDZ; no loitering or anchoring will be permitted.

- Range activities will halt while vessels are transiting.

- During the day a prominent red flag will be displayed while the range is in use and lookouts will be posted; at night a strobe light will be used in the same conspicuous location as the flag.

The Navy remains committed to protecting and preserving the rich environmental and cultural resources in Guam, and wants to ensure the safety of the public during mission critical training. The continued operation of this small arms range is important to achieve the core mission of the Department of Defense to sustain the readiness of our men and women who have sworn an oath to protect and defend our country.

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