DOWNRANGE AT FORT CARSON
Fort Carson is bounded on the east by Interstate 25 and on the west by Colorado Highway 115. The installation extends from the main post, which is just south of Academy Boulevard, to its southern perimeter, which lies just north of the communities of Pueblo West and Penrose.
Fort Carson consists of a total of 137,404 acres including the cantonment area (main post) and training areas downrange. The training areas include a wide variety of different terrain and vegetation types. There are open prairies and heavily forested areas. There are lowlands, wetlands and creek drainages as well as mountainous and hilly areas.
Fort Carson accommodates a wide variety of facilities and infrastructure for maneuver (both mounted and dismounted), airborne and weapons training. Weapons training includes small arms qualification and tank, artillery and helicopter gunnery.
There are two impact areas at Fort Carson—a small non-dudded impact area (in the north) for small arms; and a large dudded impact area (in the south), which supports artillery, tank, Bradley, Stryker and other gunnery ranges. The large impact area supports mortar firing, cannon artillery, aircraft bombing and Multiple Launched Rocket System firing.
Tank, Bradley and Stryker gunnery is typically conducted on Multi-Purpose Range Complex North for the preliminary tables and the Digital Multi-Purpose Range Complex South for qualification gunnery and advanced firing tables.
There are 56 training areas and 84 ranges located at Fort Carson, which support a variety of training. Consult Fort Carson Regulation 385-63 for a complete listing of ranges, training areas and other facilities. Range Control, located in building 9550 at the intersection of Butts Road and Route 2 (Wilderness Road), can provide complete information on training areas and range use. Call Range Control at 526-5597.
PIÑON CANYON MANEUVER SITE
In 1983, Fort Carson acquired 235,300 acres of training land on the west side of the Purgatoire River in southeast Colorado, called the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site. PCMS is the primary maneuver area for Fort Carson, located about 150 miles to the southeast off of Highway 350.
PCMS accommodates a full range of maneuver training, including brigade-level, force-on-force maneuvers. Live-fire training is restricted at PCMS to 50-caliber and below at established firing ranges. PCMS also provides excellent dismounted maneuver terrain in the rugged canyons and arroyos that empty into the nearby Purgatoire River.
Units have been training at PCMS since 1985, and major training rotations typically have taken place there as units prepare for the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, or Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and deployment to overseas theaters of operation.
PCMS provides Fort Carson Soldiers and units a unique training resource. The semi-arid, high desert climate allows for year-round training, and wide-open spaces allow battalions and brigades to deploy using current doctrinal distances. Units typically transport heavy equipment by rail to PCMS and conduct convoys with Strykers and other wheeled vehicles. PCMS can also support a full range of aviation training requirements.
Facilities at the training site include an austere cantonment area, a 160-car capable railhead, showers, range control facility, helipads, C-130 capable Combat Assault Air Strip and a fire station.
As is the case at Fort Carson, environmental stewardship of the natural and cultural resources at PCMS is tremendously important.
The Directorate of Public Works oversees the environmental management of Fort Carson and PCMS training areas and conducts environmental protection officer and cultural awareness training for Soldiers and garrison personnel. The DPW also has an emergency response/spill response team that is employed if an environmental emergency arises.
Fort Carson and PCMS resource sustainment programs are divided into media areas including the study and protection of wildlife, environmental compliance, plant and soil conservation, water quality and cultural resources. Fort Carson and PCMS have more than 8,000 cultural resource properties, many of which must be protected per federal statute and regulations.
For more information regarding environmental programs at Fort Carson, call 526-2752. For more information regarding environmental programs at PCMS, call 503-6526.