JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – At this time, JBLM Army leaders have decided to not pursue further environmental study toward integrating the HIMARS Reduced Range Practice Round (RRPR) into JBLM’s permanent training infrastructure. Army leadership wants to place more efforts and resources into other training and operational requirements for the near future.
In September 2016, 27 RRPR were fired during a three-day test on JBLM so monitors could record the sound levels generated by firing the practice rockets. According to the U.S. Army Public Health Command Noise Monitoring Study, none of the levels exceeded 130 decibels outside the JBLM boundary.
“After reviewing the (September 2016) test results, we took a very hard look at whether we could add RRPR to our training activities here at JBLM,” said Col. Daniel S. Morgan, JBLM Joint Base Commander. “While the Yakima training Center is an option, it’s not a 365-day-a-year training solution for JBLM units, so having the flexibility to certify our HIMARS crews at JBLM would maximize our Soldiers’ sustained readiness,” Morgan added.
“Although the noise study states ‘HIMARS [RRPR] would not produce noise levels which exceed those from existing training operations at JBLM,’ we have other emerging priorities that we must put our efforts and resources toward at this time,” said Morgan.
“We also felt it was important to consider input from our community partners as well before making this decision,” Morgan said. “We couldn’t have gotten to this point without the support of the communities that surround JBLM. We thank the Nisqually Tribe for their cooperation and collaboration in conducting the September test, and we thank the citizens of DuPont, Lacey, Yelm, and Roy for providing us with timely feedback.”
JBLM leaders point out that a lot of work and study has gone into the HIMARS RRPR test, especially since HIMARS is one of the principal weapons currently being used in combat operations overseas. That said, leadership does not want to diminish the value of, or lose the work that’s been done, and so to preserve that effort and the great collaboration which went into the RRPR noise test, the study and findings will serve as the basis for potential future discussion should the concept be revisited based on emerging requirements and priorities.