Hoeven Secures Indoor Firing Range for Minot in FY18 Budget Proposal

Senator Has Been Pressing the Air Force for Range to Improve Safety, Availability of Firearms Training

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Committee, today announced that the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes $27 million to construct an indoor firing range at Minot Air Force Base, a project the senator has been advocating for the Air Force to fund since 2015. The new indoor range will replace the existing outdoor range, which does not support Air Force training requirements and poses increasing health and safety risks for airmen and women.  

“Building this new indoor firing range will help Minot’s airmen and women to meet increasing requirements for firing range training and to do so in safer conditions,” said Hoeven. “The current outdoor facility makes it difficult for personnel to train because the range is frequently shut down due to cold temperatures, air quality concerns or maintenance to remove lead from the range backstop. This new indoor range will provide safer conditions for our airmen and women, increase the availability of the range regardless of winter weather conditions and offer higher quality training with lower maintenance costs.”

The current outdoor range poses health and safety risks to airmen and women. Substandard ventilations creates air quality hazards and outdoor firing in extremely cold temperatures creates the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Additionally, the range can fill up during heavy snowfall, requiring significant manpower and additional expense to clear the snow.

The new facility would provide greater capacity than the current range, consolidating four existing buildings into one fully enclosed firing range facility.