This afternoon at a public ceremony, located at Northern Quest Casino, representatives from Fairchild Air Force Base, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and the Spokane County Board of Commissioners signed a one-of-a-kind Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA) for the Spokane Regional Indoor Small Arms Range Partnership.
This event culminated an 8-year effort to forge a partnership between the three entities. The agreement is the first of its kind between the Air Force and a local government to jointly utilize facilities to benefit a military installation and a local government. It eliminates building duplicate facilities for each entity, and saves taxpayers money.
Located on County Property in the vicinity of Craig Road and the Medical Lake Highway, just minutes from the front gates of Fairchild, the Spokane Regional Indoor Small Arms Range will be the first facility of its kind, providing a venue primarily for Air Force and Sheriff’s Office Instructors to train Airmen and Deputies simultaneously. The first public to public partnership of its kind for the Air Force, the goal of this partnership is to best utilize limited resources to provide a capability that Spokane County and the Air Force need to ensure mission readiness.
This indoor firing range will consist of 21 lanes, 50 meters in length, and will include classrooms, offices, and an armory on site. The flagship facility will provide facilities and features that will enhance all service branch training capabilities and skill sets. The range will be housed fully indoors with adjustable lighting to enable daylight, dusk or nighttime conditions. It can simulate multiple potential environments and will be able to accommodate vehicles inside the facility to further enhance training. The facility will be fully owned by Spokane County with Fairchild and the Sheriff’s Office being the primary tenants.
The Air Force expects that this facility will serve as a model for other bases.
At today’s ceremony each of the signatories made brief comments about the historic nature of this partnership before signing the IGSA.
“We here at Fairchild are thrilled for the opportunity to further our great relationship with our Spokane partners,” said Col Cassius T. Bentley, 92d Air Refueling Wing commander. “It gives us a chance to best utilize limited resources in order to provide a capability that both Spokane County and the Air Force mission needs.”
"One of my most important goals for the Sheriff’s Office is to provide the highest level of training to our staff. This is the first agreement of its kind for the U.S. military and will be a flagship facility that will provide unique training opportunities for law enforcement and Air Force personnel,” said Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, Josh Kerns, stated, “In many ways, this is a significant win for our community. This project highlights a unique relationship that our community enjoys with Fairchild Air Force Base. This training facility is a great example of the benefits that come to fruition when local leaders look beyond our own needs and towards collaboration. This is a partnership that will bring much needed resources to the men and women who protect our region and our nation.”