Ash Ranges – Update
The following update has been provided by the Training Safety Officer (Security and Access), South East Region, UK Training, Defence Infrastructure Organisation.
COVID-19 – ASH RANGES UPDATE.
Ash Parish Council have been briefed by the MOD that the Ash Range complex will undergo lockdown from 01 April until further notice. This due to a large number of military units having cancelled due to personnel being re-tasked in support of OP RESCRIPT, the MOD’s response to COVID-19, also all recruit training has ceased. Of course the UK will continue to support ongoing deployments world-wide, this including Afghanistan and Mali, as well as the Police. The requirement to support this will be met by the Pirbright Range complex which will remain open throughout.
Ash range staff will of course continue to man the range during this period for ongoing maintenance and to ensure the ranges can be brought back online rapidly once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and normal duties resume. This will also ensure that in the event of an unforeseen military requirement the ranges are immediately available for use. The MOD have been advised that COVID-19 can remain on hardened surfaces for up to 72 hours and for this reason the range complex itself will be out of bounds to all non-essential personnel during this period, this including members of the public as well as troops.
It is emphasised that these restrictions will only apply to the range complex itself, not the much larger Range Danger Area or RDA. As there will be no live firing at Ash during this time, the RDA will remain open to the public throughout. Flags will be down and the gates will be locked open to avoid people coming into unnecessary contact with a hardened surface. The MOD have undertaken to maintain contact with the Parish Council throughout and for a schematic showing the extent of the locked down area please click here.