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Claiborne Range

Claiborne Range complex is an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) Primary Training Range located within the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) and provides training to support real-world requirements. At least 90 days a year, the safety fan is open for public recreational purposes; such as, hiking, biking, camping and horseback riding. Because Claiborne Range is in the KNF, an Interagency Agreement/Special Use Permit between the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and 307th Bomb Wing, U.S. Air Force Base has been in effect. This agreement emphasized habitat and environmental requirements.

Range terrain consists of small rolling hills, small creeks and pine forest which are inhabited by endangered, threatened, sensitive and conservation species. The endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers (Piciodes borealis) nests in the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris). The threatened Louisiana Pearlshell Mussel (Margaritifera hembeli) inhabit several creeks located within the range boundary. Caution as to not disrupt these species is highly encouraged.

The Army and the Air Force have used portions of the former camp for military training. England Air Force Base (AFB) used a rectangular tract of land measuring 1,300 acres until 1972 as an air-to-ground gunnery range. In addition, Barksdale AFB is using another portion of the former camp as a bombing and gunnery range. USAF reportedly cleared the range used by England AFB of ordnance after it was closed in 1972.

The former Camp Claiborne encompassed a total of 30,176 acres within Rapides, Parish, Louisiana. Rapides Parish in central Louisiana is bounded by Big Saline Bayou and drained by the Calcasieu and Red Rivers. It includes part of Kisatchie National Forest (NE and W), Claiborne Range Military Reservation (W center), and U.S. Camp Beauregard (NE).

Camp Claiborne was established in 1940 as a U. S. Army infantry training center. Approximately 500,000 troops were trained during the period of 1940 to 1945. Near the end of World War II, Camp Claiborne also housed German prisoners of war (POWs). Training at the camp included the use of small arms, mortars, anti-tank rockets, artillery, and grenades. The camp was closed at the end of the war, and the majority of the land was transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to become part of the Kisatchie National Forest. In addition to this land, a portion of the former facility was transferred to private owners and Fort Polk.

The U.S. Army Air Corps acquired a total of 1,582.98 acres for Kisatchie Precision Bombing Ranges No. 1 to 3 & Tent Site, also known as the Kisatchie Bombing Ranges or Winnfield Bombing Range, as sub-bases of Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On January 7, 1941, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed to allow the Army use of three areas for practice bombing. Permits were issued. Due to the distance of these ranges from the main field, the base established a tent camp on the site of a former Civilian Conservation Corps on May 17, 1941 to operate and maintain the bombing ranges. Each of the three practice bombing ranges consisted of a cleared circular target with a 1,000 foot radius and three observation towers constructed of either steel or wood. At the tent camp, the Army added several permanent structures, including a mess hall, power house, bath house, water storage tank and wooden post fence of 1500 feet in length.

Barksdale Army Air Base declared the ranges and tent camp surplus to their needs on December 11, 1946. The Army declared the four properties surplus on September 30, 1947. The PBRs and the tent camp were relinquished to the USDA on September 23, 1949 and retransferred on November 3, 1949.

Initially opened in September 1953, Claiborne Bomb and Aerial Gunnery Range was located approximately four (4) miles south of the present range and occupied 7,580 acres in the KNF. The 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at England AFB, Alexandria, Louisiana, was administratively responsible for the operation and maintenance of this complex and provided bomb and gunnery targets. In November 1972, Claiborne Range was closed in favor of a new range complex developed on the present site. The portion of the Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery Range included approximately 5,000 acres of the former Camp Claiborne.

The Army and the Air Force have used portions of the former camp for military training. England AFB used a rectangular tract of land measuring 1,300 acres until 1972 as an air-to-ground gunnery range. In addition, Barksdale AFB was using another portion of the former camp as a bombing and gunnery range. USAF reportedly cleared the range used by England AFB of ordnance after it was closed in 1972.

The Breezy Hill Artillery Range was operated under the Range Office, Camp Livingston, Louisiana as an infantry supporting weapons range. It was also used by troops stationed at Camp Beauregard and Esler Field. The military actively used approximately 18,650 acres, with most of the range activity concentrated in 15 areas. The Army brought trainees in for one and two week bivouacs. When the training was completed, the soldiers were sent to replacement depots. The site was used for artillery, mortar, anti-tank rockets, grenade and small arms training. There were mock villages and troop camp areas. The site was also part of the massive Louisiana maneuvers of 1940.

When World War II ended, Breezy Hill Artillery Range was declared surplus and beginning in 1946 the free acres were turned over to the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation and offered for sale to the original owners, many of whom did repurchase the land. The property not repurchased, was turned over to the Forest Service. The remaining 33,981 acres on loan from the Forest Service were returned.

The majority of the former Breezy Hill Artillery Range is completely re-forested and forms a part of the KNF. The Catahoula National Wildlife Management Area is also part of the site area. The majority of the human exposure element consists of Forest rangers and hunters. Two of the areas, areas 3 and 5, are marked with warning signs that these are no activity areas due to unexploded ordnance. Three areas are marked as extreme caution areas, no intrusive actions may be performed; however, timber cutting is allowed. These areas are numbers three, four and six. Area one, the site of a 1994 discovery of a Mark II grenade, is on private property and not part of the forest or management area.

Operation and Maintenance of Claiborne Bombing Range, Alexandria, LA consists of providing all personnel, equipment, training, tools, materials, supervision and other items necessary to perform maintenance, clearance, operations and administrative services at Claiborne Range. Includes scoring of air-to-ground, acoustiscore, simulated laser target and other scorable targets. Spectrum Sciences & Software, Inc. is a small technical services and manufacturing corporation. One of the company's core business areas is bombing and gunnery training range operation, maintenance, and technology.

The Operation and Maintenance of Claiborne Range involved a broad range of services. Operational responsibilities encompass:

  • Range Control Officer duties of air traffic management
  • Control of ordnance delivery by a vast spectrum of aircraft range safety and control of aircraft
  • Use of range facilities and movement of personnel within the range boundaries
  • Coordination of all range activities with military, local, state and federal authorities.

Spectrum had been tasked to develop mitigation plans for compliance with environmental regulations and to develop programs for the management of hazardous waste collection, storage, and disposal, including the storage and handling of Class "C" explosives. Range Operation and Maintenance tasks are conducted daily in an endangered species environment. Spectrum has also conducted briefings and demonstrations for a variety of agencies, groups and dignitaries.

Maintenance requirements include the design, location, layout and development of Tactical Target complexes, IR Target Complexes, run-in-line and strafe targets, and the design and construction of bomb, laser and infra-red targets. Maintenance responsibilities also entail the maintaining of range non-hard surface roads; firebreaks; cantonment carpentry, plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; custodial maintenance of workshops, offices and tower facilities; electronics/communications equipment repair and calibration; fire protection; personnel and facility security; personnel and equipment safety; potable water testing; meteorological services; and range administration (reference library management, use of management information systems, completion of periodic reports, meetings, briefings, maintenance logs, etc.).

The solicitation, issued on December 31, 1998, contemplated the award of a fixed-price requirements contract for a base period of 1 year, with four 1-year options. The RFP stated that award would be made to the responsible offeror whose offer conforms to the solicitation, is determined technically acceptable based on the minimum mandatory evaluation criteria, and offers the lowest evaluated price, based on the total price for the base year and all options years. The request for proposals (RFP) No. F16602-99-R-0003, issued as a small business set-aside by the Department of the Air Force, was for the operation and maintenance of the Claiborne Bombing Range.

Five proposals were received by the February 8, 1999 closing time. Two proposals were rejected as technically unacceptable. Air Force Memorandum of Law at 1. On February 12, requests for additional information and clarifications were sent to the three remaining technically acceptable offerors, in a letter, which stated that it was not a request for final proposal revision. Responses were received and evaluated. On February 22, the three offerors were notified that discussions were concluded and that their proposals were found to be technically acceptable, and each was requested to submit a final proposal revision.

The current language at FAR Sec. 15.307(b), which substitutes the term "final proposal revision" for the previously denominated "BAFO," includes a requirement that offerors be advised that award is contemplated without obtaining further revisions. While the agency did not include precise language to this effect in its request for final proposal revision, we fail to see how this could reasonably have misled the protester in the manner that it asserts, and Spectrum's own submission strongly suggests that it was not so misled.

Spectrum Sciences & Software, Inc. protested the award of a contract to C. Martin Company. The protester objects that the Air Force's letter requesting Spectrum's final proposal revision failed to specify that the agency intended to make an award without obtaining further revisions, thereby leading Spectrum to conclude that it would have a further opportunity to revise its price, which was not provided. GAO denied the protest.

On June 10, 2004, the range boundary expanded from 3,205 acres to 7,800 acres. The Special Use Airspace, Restricted Area-3801, changed from Surface - Flight Level 140 to Surface Flight Level 230. These expansions ensured DoD pilots and aircrews received comprehensive and realistic training with the highest standards established for mission accomplishments.





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