Ranges provide both civilians and military personnel the ability to keep their skills sharp, but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to maintain and upkeep these facilities. The Ginn Group is in charge of maintaining 101,000 acres of range and training area within Fort Knox. Teams are tasked with the upkeep of all types of ranges, range equipment, roads, trails, targets, power stations, guard and watch towers, obstacles, and bayonet training courses.
We spoke to Chris Rhodes, who has worked in range maintenance with The Ginn Group for 14 years and has worked specifically with roads and grounds during this time, to expand on what goes into maintaining a range and how his team works to support range safety.
Rhodes and his team are responsible for maintaining all roads and trails on the ranges and training areas on the post. This includes road grading, which consists of using a motor grader to restore the driving surface by removing potholes and other irregularities. Road grading is a vital part of maintaining the roads, as it is required for all roads on the range’s grounds to support positive draining and be free of potholes, cracks, and obstacles. As part of this process, teams also transport and spread gravel on the roadways.
In efforts to maintain and control the positive drainage on the ranges, The Ginn Group’s team repairs berms, which are structures that help slow and filter water runoff. Not only do they play a crucial role in maintaining proper drainage, but they also act as a safety barrier. These berms are often found near and around the range’s targets and act as a containment barrier to ensure all munitions are kept within the range’s grounds so people and property are protected.
Rhodes also spoke about how safety protocols are upheld within the facilities. As part of these protocols, he and his team must call ahead to gain access to the facilities to ensure the range is aware of who is on the grounds at all times.
One interesting point Rhodes made was that his team, who primarily works in maintaining and upkeep the roads and berms on the range, works in conjunction with the crew that maintains the physical targets. While the teams work on different aspects of range maintenance, they both work together to ensure that the range is kept safe, not just for the sake of proper drainage and property management but also for the safety of all those who work and choose to sharpen their skill at the range.
It’s thanks to teams like Chris Rhodes and others that The Ginn Group can ensure the safety of the 101,000 acres of range and training areas within Fort Knox.