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Corps completes Infantry Platoon Battle Course

Published Aug. 5, 2013
During the first two weeks of Baker-Torch training, members of the Thailand Border Patrol Police were taught the fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmanship. Staff Sgt. Jose R. Macoto checks the grouping during a live-fire excercise at the range.

During the first two weeks of Baker-Torch training, members of the Thailand Border Patrol Police were taught the fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmanship. Staff Sgt. Jose R. Macoto checks the grouping during a live-fire excercise at the range.

The 500-acre Infantry Platoon Battle Course at Fort Knox features trenches, which the Soldiers will use during training scenarios.

The 500-acre Infantry Platoon Battle Course at Fort Knox features trenches, which the Soldiers will use during training scenarios.

The Corps recently completed a sprawling 500-acre Automated Infantry Platoon Battle Course (IPBC) at Fort Knox, Ky., where Soldiers can train.

The project converted a previously used Tank and Bradley gunnery range, known as the Cedar Creek Range, into a new battle course, which will train and test infantry platoons on the skills necessary to conduct tactical operations with direct and indirect live fire.

"It’s a very important project because it not only supports all units training here at Knox, but also units who travel here to train so it’s very important for the Army overall," said Rodney Manson, installation range control officer, Fort Knox.

The battle course features 43 stationary infantry targets, six stationary armor targets with battle effects simulator, one moving armor target, nine machinegun-observation bunkers equipped with a sound effects simulator, eight mortar simulation devices, 14 moving infantry targets, one trench obstacle, two helicopter landing zones and one assault/defend house to ensure optimal training for the infantry platoons.

One important feature of the new battle course is video recording capability, which provides Soldiers with real-time feedback and allows for after action reviews.

"It’s one of the few ranges that has that capability," said Manson.

In addition to the battle course, there were necessary site improvements that had to be made including installation of electric service, information systems and demolition of two buildings. Other facilities that had to be constructed include the range operations center, the range operations and control area, which consists of an operations and storage building, classroom building, covered mess, bleacher enclosure, aerated vault latrine, and ammunition breakdown building surrounding a central parking lot, and building information systems.

The $4.2 million project was constructed by Barlovento LLC., Dothan, Ala., Construction was completed June 8, and the new range will be in use by the fall after additional computer systems and targets are installed.