MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
The Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility hosted a recreational fire event for eligible personnel, to promote marksmanship and safety, Aug. 9, 2013.
The event was open to all active duty, reserve and retired military plus two guests, as well as law enforcement, Department of Defense civilians and contractors who work on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The minimum age was 14, and attendees ages 14 through 18 required adult supervision.
Bob Smith, an instructor with the Anti-terrorism Center on Ford Island and Kaneohe resident, said he thinks the Kaneohe Bay RTF is the most beautiful range in the country.
“This is a wonderful place to come shoot,” Smith said. “I have a great opportunity to bring my kids and teach them firearms safety.”
Attendees were allowed to bring their own weapons, but the range also supplied M4 rifles and M9 pistols. Pistols and revolvers were restricted to .45 caliber and below and rifles and shotguns were restricted to .50 caliber and below.
Gunnery Sgt. Eugenio Ramirez, the range safety officer for the event and native of Los Angeles, said there were approximately 170 people in attendance.
“We saw mostly shotguns, pistols and revolvers,” Ramirez said. “Some people buy a gun not knowing how to use it, and this event allows us to teach people safety and how to use their weapon. If you know how to handle a weapon, you’ll be less likely to hurt yourself or someone else.”
Smith said the event also provided family bonding time for him and his two children.
Smith’s daughter said the event was “cool” because not many people her age get to experience it.
“None of my friends have done something like this,” she said. “I get to come out here and learn how to shoot and be safe. I’ve learned to not point my weapon at anyone and to keep my finger off the trigger until I fire.”
Smith’s son said he enjoys shooting and being with his family.
“Every time I shoot with my dad I get better with trigger control,” he said. “My aiming also improves. I’m glad we have the opportunity to come out here and experience this.”
Smith said it’s great that MCB Hawaii has an event like this, which is not offered at other installations on island.
“I love that my kids can come on this base and see what the military is about,” Smith said. “I think it’s important for them to see all of Hawaii, especially the military presence.”