Camp Perry Military Reservation is a 640-acre training center located on the shores of Lake Erie, near Port Clinton, Ohio. Camp Perry Training Site, located along the western shoreline of Lake Erie, provides traditional and automated small arms rifle and pistol ranges for Ohio Army National Guard soldier training; Camp Perry personnel also operate and support small arms ranges located at Camp Sherman near Chillicothe. Camp Perry has the largest and best-equipped rifle and pistol ranges in the United States. Civilian rifle teams and nonmilitary agencies also use it. This National Guard training facility located 80 miles west of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie. Camp Perry provides training facilities for units of the Ohio National Guard as well as lodging facilities for visitors to Ohio's Northern Shores.
Located just hours from every unit in Ohio, Camp Perry offers cost-effective, state-of-the-art marksmanship opportunities. The training site is home to the state's most elaborate Engagement Skills Trainer (EST), which is a multipurpose training device designed to support indoor training of squad-sized units on basic and advanced weapons marksmanship, as well as fundamental tactical skills, by using the latest computer simulation technology. With the EST, units have the option of training in a climate-controlled environment on a year-round, 24-hour basis.
Dining, housing and training facilities available on Camp Perry Training Site are equipped to support battalion- and group-level exercises, as well as mobilization training. Railhead capability on Camp Perry Training Site further facilitates mobilization needs, making it one of the few locations in Ohio that can act as an assembly, staging and departure point for both soldiers and equipment.
The Coast Guard port security unit training detachment (PSU TRADET) has been established at Camp Perry. In years past, Camp Perry has served as a site for several PSU training evolutions, including the Persian Gulf War (1990), Operation Uphold Democracy (1994), and initial training of the active duty Battle Rostered PSU. Camp Perry is also the home port of PSU 309.
The Ohio Naval Militia (ONM) operates a range patrol off the waters of Camp Perry during firing exercises. Camp Perry is the largest firing range in the world, and it is their task to maintain a 32 square mile, total exclusion zone where the live ammunition falls into Lake Erie.
Reenactments are performed in July during a Black Powder Muzzle Loader competition. Waterfront conference facilities are available.
Camp Perry, the largest outdoor rifle range in the world, is the home of the NRA's National Rifle Matches held every year during the months of July and August. The National Matches, considered America's "World Series of the Shooting Sports", have been a tradition at Camp Perry, Ohio since 1907. Each summer, the nation's finest military and civilian marksmen and women square off for five weeks of rifle and handgun competition in a variety of formats and events.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 changed the status of the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship effective October 1, 1996. The National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP), an advisory board to the Secretary of the Army was disestablished by this law, and replaced by the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety. The law authorized the National Matches to continue to be conducted at Camp Perry, Ohio.
American naval gunnery and marksmanship skills proved to be deficient during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Federal funding was provided in 1903 to state militias for marksmanship instruction camps and practice rifle matches. The State purchased 300 acres for the rifle range and camp.
When the State Legislature authorized purchase of land for the camp in 1906, they specified it should be named for Oliver Hazard Perry, who won control of Lake Erie by capture of the entire British fleet on September 10, 1813. The first structure erected after purchase of the original camp may have been the original pier. The roads in 1906 were usually only of dirt or gravel. The Mess Hall, old QM Warehouse, and the Baggage Station were the first new buildings put to use for the first NRA National Matches in 1907. The Mess Hall and the Warehouse were both built of precast concrete, which was a new process for building construction at that time.
During World War I, it was used as a training center for officers and marksmanship instructors. The two stone towers on either side of the entrace gate are not as old as they look. Both were built as a WPA project in 1937 after the State of Ohio had purchased all or parts of 6 farms as an addition to the military reservation.
Camp Perry served as a prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. The small white huts scattered over much of the camp were built during WWII as temporary quarters. Most housed Italian and German POWs. After WWII and again after the Korean War the huts became quarters for units training or conducting firing practice at Perry.
Ottawa County is a Northwest Ohio community of slightly more than 40,000 located along the shorelines of Lake Erie. Its county seat is Port Clinton, a center for recreation activities on the adjacent waters of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. These activities include boating, fishing and sailing along with sandy beaches, island excursions, Lake Erie wineries and wildlife areas. Tourism, light industry and agriculture are the key industries in the area. Ottawa County is easily accessible to nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population and within 90 minutes of Canada. Port Clinton is on the south shore of Lake Erie, 37 miles east of Toledo, Ohio, and 81 miles west of Cleveland.
Moody/Nolan is developing the Master Plan of this 640 acre National Guard training preserve to identify all operations that take place on the site, make recommendations for the consolidation of various services, and suggest infrastructure changes that will support future needs. Additionally, a series of new buildings will be constructed, beginning with a Multi-Purpose Logistics Center/ Warehouse, hotel facilities, dining hall, and Range Operations building. Moody/Nolan's responsibilities will include Architectural, Interiors, Civil Engineering and Construction Administration.
During FY00 Camp Perry Training Site started construction on two new facilities, a Logistical Support Operations Center and a Range Operations Center. These two state of-the-art facilities were constructed with both federal and state funds totaling $2.8 million. The training site was used extensively by the Army National Guard as well as a wide variety of other organizations including the U. S. Army Reserve, non-Army Department of Defense entities, law enforcement agencies and various civilian organizations.
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