Greenlief Training Site
Hastings Training Site
[Blaine Naval Ammunition Depot]
The 3,211-acre Hastings Training Site has served as Nebraska's primary range and armor training site since 1966. The Nebraska Army National Guard spends $100,000 in a year for the live-fire range. The cost includes ammunition, gun maintenance and transporting troops to the range in Hastings for three weekends every month. In September 2000 the Nebraska Army National Guard named its training site in Hastings after the late Lt. Gen. (Neb.) Francis S. Greenlief, who was a National Guard bureau chief and World War II veteran who hailed from Nebraska. He was born in Hastings in 1921 and died in December 1999. Approximately 3,210 acres of former Blaine NAD property located to the immediate east of the HEIP were acquired by the Department of the Army on August 22, 1966 and are currently under lease to the NEANG. This training site remains active and supports two practice firing ranges.
Hastings' unit became an armor company in 1995, following deactivation of the old 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment. Its monthly training sessions in the winter and spring are to prepare members for tank training in June at Camp Shelby, Miss.
The former Blaine NAD, consisting of approximately 48,753 acres, is located approximately 127 miles west of Lincoln, in Adams and Clay Counties, Nebraska. The northwest corner of the site is located approximately 2 miles east of the City of Hastings, Nebraska, along U.S. Highway 6 (South Street). The boundary of the former Blaine NAD extends eastward to State Route S-18A and southward to State Route 74. The Union Pacific Railroad delineates the western boundary. Approximately 35,000 acres of the former Blaine NAD (located in the central and eastern portion of the site) are currently controlled by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) and designated as the Roman Hruska Meat Animal Research Center (MARC). In addition, the Nebraska Army National Guard (NEANG) controls approximately 3,210 acres, 800 acres encompass the Central Community College, and approximately 2,866 acres are included in the Hastings East Industrial Park (HEIP). The balance of the former Blaine NAD (approximately 6,878 acres) is comprised of land owned either by private individuals or other government agencies. The approximately 2,866-acre HEIP area contained the manufacturing facilities of the former Blaine NAD including the Rocket Motor Loading Plant, 20-millimeter (mm) and 40mm Projectile Loading and Filling Areas, Small Projectile Loading and Filling Area, and Large Projectile Loading and Filling Area. The HEIP was established between 1962 and 1974 via property transfers from the GSA. Originally sold to the City of Hastings, it is currently owned by private individuals and is comprised of a mix of business and industry, agriculture, and private residences. The location of the tract is immediately east of the Central Community College. Many of the original former Blaine NAD buildings have been refurbished for a variety of industrial uses.
The Blaine NAD was established on July 11, 1942, to augment existing Navy facilities determined to be insufficient for storage of ammunition for wartime conditions. Two new depots, the Blaine NAD and the McAlester, Oklahoma, NAD were constructed to alleviate the burden. The two facilities were constructed as identically as possible and equidistant from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Construction began in 1942 and initially included 207 miles of railroad track, 274 miles of roads, 2,200 buildings (including 707 magazines, 70 storage buildings, 2 large-caliber loading plants, 2 medium-caliber loading plants, and a two-line bomb- and mine-filling plant), and several firing ranges (rocket, pistol, and rifle). The Navy commissioned the facility for service on February 22, 1943. Subsequent expansion included two 20mm cartridge filling houses, two 40mm shell plants, two 20mm plants, two medium caliber case filling plants, and one rocket motor loading facility. The first shipment from the Blaine NAD occurred on July 4, 1943. Over 10,000 military and civilian employees worked at the facility at peak production with operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although the Korean Conflict resulted in a $20 million expansion in 1950, by April 1957 the Blaine NAD was reduced to maintenance status, with an assigned mission to receive, renovate, maintain, store, and issue ammunition, explosives, and technical ordnance material. Finally in December 1958, the Bureau of Ordnance notified the facility that it was to begin "disestablishment", which was completed on June 30, 1960. Sale and transfer took place between 1964 and 1967.
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