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Reid, Ensign call on National Guard to add Hawthorne Army Depot to list of sites for explosive device training



WASHINGTON, DC–Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign today sent a letter to National Guard Bureau Chief General Craig R. McKinley asking that the Hawthorne Army Depot be considered for addition to a list of sites to host counter improvised explosive device-defeat training. Reid and Ensign cited HWAD’s location as being “an ideal location for preparing our service members for the terrain, altitude, climate and logistical challenges they currently face in Afghanistan.” A copy of Reid and Ensign’s letter to General McKinley is below.

March 8, 2010

General Craig R. McKinley
Chief, National Guard Bureau
1636 Defense Pentagon
District of Columbia, Washington DC 22301

Dear General McKinley:

We have noted with interest a recent NGB memorandum that provides implementation guidance for the establishment of Counter Improvised Explosive Device-Defeat (C-IED) Training Lanes at several sites around the country. We request that you add Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada to that list of sites.

Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD) is situated in Nevada’s central high desert, an ideal location for preparing our service members for the terrain, altitude, climate and logistical challenges they currently face in Afghanistan. In fact, last year Hawthorne served as a training site for 10,484 Service Members who were able to take full advantage of Hawthorne’s high desert and mountainous terrain.

HWAD offers a unique set of training opportunities across its 146,000 acres to include:

· A driving obstacle course
· A pistol/rifle training range
· Cottonwood Canyon light infantry and mountain warfare training area
· Old Bomb/Carter test range and live fire area
· POW, Urban, and Logistics training
· Ryan Canyon tactical driver’s course to NAS Fallon
· Walker Lake water training area

Other site services include:

· Housing for trainers and observers
· Barracks and billeting
· Utilities/facilities for equipment maintenance
· Procurement support, including purchasing and sub-contracting
· Utilities, telephone, and internet
· Environmental support
· Receipt, shipping and storage facilities

As you can see the basic requirements for the IED training lanes are already available at HWAD. Further, the Adjutant General of Nevada, Brigadier General William Burks fully supports the expanded use of HWAD for C-IED training. We all feel that existing roads and trails at HWAD, because they closely approximate those found in Afghanistan and the Hindu Kush, would be perfect for this vital training.

Please consider adding HWAD as a site for the new C-IED training lanes and let us know what we can do for our part to make sure our troops are able to take full advantage of the incredible training environment at Hawthorne Army Depot.


United States Senator

United States Senator

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