CBMU 303 ‘Bees Complete Upgrade Project at Puuloa Rifle Range

By CE2 (SCW) Lisa A. Sperhake, CBMU 303 Detachment Pearl Harbor

042415-13

Seabees from CBMU 303 Detachment Pearl Harbor place concrete for the back wall at the Puuloa rifle range. Photo by SW2 (SCW) William Stimson

Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303 (CBMU 303) Detachment Pearl Harbor completed upgrades to the Puuloa rifle range, April 9.

To modernize training practices, the U.S. Marine Corps is now using the moving target (MIT) system, allowing for more reality-based scenarios. The Seabees from CBMU 303 Detachment Pearl Harbor were tasked with improving the range to prepare for MIT system installation. The plan was to construct a 200-foot concrete trench, as well as a new electrical distribution system.

Builder 2nd Class (SCW) William Corrigan led the crew and oversaw all operations for the duration of the project.

“It was a challenging yet rewarding experience leading a crew for the first time,” Corrigan said. “For the majority of the crew, it was a great learning opportunity, constructing the vertical concrete walls, as it is not something that’s normally done within our project scope.”

3067  Seabee Puuloa project 3BU2 (SCW) Roland Palacios works on the back wall at the Pu’uloa rifle range. Photo by SW2 (SCW) William Stimson.

While most of the crew has had years of project experience, this was the first construction project for a few younger Seabees. Builder Constructionman Alejandra Chavez arrived at CBMU 303 in January 2015 from Builder “A” School and was immediately able to get started.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, but the rest of the crew was very helpful,” Chavez said. “It was great to work in my builder rate and learn how a Seabee project works.”

Situated in Ewa Beach along the Pacific Ocean, the Puuloa rifle range was acquired by the Navy in 1916, and was converted to a small arms range and training facility. In 1970, it officially became a Marine Corps base. As the Vietnam War picked up, it was determined that more intense training was necessary and incorporated sniper training which is still done today.

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