Arlington County Board Authorizes Joint Venture with MWAA on Firearms Training Facility

Arlington County Board Authorizes Joint Venture with MWAA on Firearms Training Facility

ARLINGTON, Va. – June 19, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday authorized the County Manager to proceed with a joint venture on a new state-of-the-art firearms training facility. The 25-year agreement with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) will provide the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office with a firing range and training facility on the property of Dulles International Airport.

The training facility will include two 25-lane, 50-yard open firing ranges, along with a 300-yard rifle deck. The joint facility also will offer a 7,200 square foot modular training building, several classrooms and a secure storage area. Arlington County has agreed to contribute approximately $7 million, or 40 percent of the total cost.

“We are fortunate to have this chance to partner with MWAA in building this much-needed training facility for our law enforcement departments,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “This facility will help ensure that our police and sheriff’s deputies, for years to come, will get the training they need to continue to protect and serve our community.”

The Board voted unanimously to authorize moving forward with the joint venture.

Arlington County does not now have its own training facility, and has been using the MWAA police range since 2008 through an informal agreement. Alternative partnering options were explored during the process, including using regional private ranges. Those options were not feasible because they offered limited scheduling, inadequate capacity and operating costs that far exceeded those in the new agreement.

Active duty Arlington County officers are mandated to meet firearms qualifications on a yearly basis. With the current size of both the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office, training is required on 268 days out of the year. Current range training includes: in-service qualifications, patrol rifle qualifications, pre-academy training, SWAT, Basic Taser Operator and recertification and simulated ammunition training.

With this agreement, Arlington County will have guaranteed availability and reliable scheduling to accomplish the mandated training needs, while addressing the emerging threats facing communities nationwide. The construction of the facility is expected to take one year and officers will continue to use the existing range in the interim.

To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #32 on the Agenda for the Tuesday, June 18, 2013 Recessed Meeting.

Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation’s Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America’s preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

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Dustin Sternbeck

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