The Oregon National Guard, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Unmanned Aerial System Operating Facility, located in Boardman, Oregon earlier today.
The 12,400 square foot construction, along with an additional 10,400 square foot aircraft storage building first entered into a Host-Tenant Agreement in 2002, for approximately 6,852 acres to support both the Tactical Unmanned Aerial System flight facility along with a Multipurpose Machine Gun Range.
Construction began in January of 2021 and was completed in April 2022. The 13.3 million dollar project includes paved organizational vehicle parking and runway, a controlled waste facility and flammable materials facility. This construction is designed for high energy efficiency and has a minimum 50-year life.
Apollo Inc., a Native American owned business in Washington State, was the primary lead team, along with Coover-Clark Architects, and Meier Engineering for preconstruction, construction and administrative services for the facility. Other key contributors were KWR Electrical Engineers, Briteworks sustainability consultants, Bruce Mechanical Heating and Air and Camp Creek Electrical.
The Naval Weapons System Training Facility in Boardman is used as the principal training grounds for testing U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft assigned to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington and also used for drone testing. Additionally the range has been used by the Oregon Air National Guard to conduct air-to-ground weapons systems applications. It is located 15 miles west of the Oregon National Guard’s Rees Training Center, in Umatilla.
The original site was established in 1941 as a testing site for the Army Air Force during World War II. Nearly seven miles of the historic Oregon Trail are located within the boundary area of the installation, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.