“This is the planning time right now—planning for projects and making sure that the projects we are executing can either be complete by the time the National Matches start, or we wait until after the National Matches end,” said CPT Michael Yates, Base Operations Supervisor of Camp Perry.
CPT Yates has been a part of Fort Ohio (which oversees Ohio’s three National Guard facilities: Camp Perry, Camp Ravenna and Camp Sherman) since 2009, after returning from a tour in Iraq. He began as the Range Operations Manager at Camp Ravenna before becoming the Camp Perry Base Operations Supervisor in June 2014. With the help of CPT Yates and other dedicated staff members through the years, Camp Perry has seen a lot of crucial development on the grounds that has helped keep the post the treasured destination it is today.
Over the past few years, the base has put more than $10 million into facility improvements. Considering the post is used by the military as well as the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the National Rifle Association, federal and local law enforcement and Department of Homeland Security entities, all year long—trying to improve energy efficiencies and maintaining training venues on base can be a challenging and never-ending task.
“Everything that we’re doing here at Camp Perry is continually improving what we have. This facility has been around for over 100 years now, so she is always needing some updates,” said CPT Yates. “We did a big sanitary update in the 90s, water in 2010 and electric in 2011. Now we’re coming up on the lifecycle of those things, so we’re doing lifecycle updates.”
In 2015, Camp Perry took on more than 20 projects, totaling over $900,000. The renovations included chipping and sealing of the range roads to keep dust off of the ranges, as well as upgrading the historical lighting on Scorpion Road by the clubhouse—steadily making the base more energy-efficient by adding sensors to the LED lights so they know when to come on at night, as well as installing new HVAC systems throughout the complex.
“The guard is keeping an eye on being environmentally-friendly with what we have—‘going green,’ as they say,” said CPT Yates. “It was a great year for progress, and 2016 has the possibility of being even better.”
Depending on budget and weather elements, CPT Yates expects the opportunity for upwards of 20 projects again and millions of dollars towards base improvements in 2016.
“The biggest stuff we’re working on is just planning for the future—planning out the rest of 2016, planning for 2017. We have the potential for some very large projects coming up in the near future, but I’m going to leave that one as a cliffhanger,” he said, with a smile.
Current projects around Camp Perry include:
The Viale and Rodriguez berm and drainage project has been ongoing for the past few years. The base is in the final stages of those range improvements, with seed and straw set to be laid when the weather breaks in the spring. The new drainage will allow better recuperation after summer storms that inevitably hit Camp Perry each year.
Petrarca Range garage doors that have been damaged over the years are being replaced, and the western end of the firing line is seeing updates as well. Walls are being installed and lighting will be enhanced to create a more “classroom” type setting for soldiers and National Match competitors to use for discussion sessions.
“When soldiers come here in the winter time, they’ll have a place to work under cover in a classroom environment, but still be able to work with weapons on the ranges,” explained CPT Yates.
The RV Park Shower floor has been completely repaired of the cracking it had endured from years of wear. The project was completed in October 2015.
“It’s beautiful. They did a great job with that,” said CPT Yates. “It’s going to be a nice venue for those who are going to be utilizing the park.”
Two North Barracks Buildings renovations are almost complete. The facilities were down during the 2015 National Matches due to a variety of issues, but will be up and running for the 2016 National Matches—allowing even more housing options right on the Camp Perry base.
Register for the NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships at www.nmentry.com.