Nov 1 2007
09:29 pm

"LAKE CITY - A $6 million training center for military personnel, high-risk couriers and company executives going into the world's danger zones will be built soon near the Anderson-Campbell county line, officials said. (link...)

The Echota Tactical Training Center will have classrooms, a half-mile-long track for training drivers in high-risk situations and several firing ranges.

Echota Technologies Corp.'s long-range plans include housing and dining facilities for students and staff and a 1,000-meter sniper firing range.

Law enforcement agencies, special operations military personnel and Department of Energy couriers who transport classified materials would be trained there.

Special courses also would be available for company executives going into global hot spots, said James R. Fish, executive vice president of Maryville-based Echota."

People often say they don't want to have a casino move into their neighborhood or a race track because they are concerned about the kinds of people it will bring into the area. Well, if I lived in Lake City, I sure wouldn't be thrilled to know this proposed project would bring mercenaries and macho- commando types in my town.

ma am's picture

Mountain top destruction

Are they going to flatten a hillside for this? Probably. Are they going to further degrade our beautiful mountains? Ask the magic 8-ball: Chances are good.

smalc's picture

I live a few miles from the

I live a few miles from the security training center (Is Wackenhut the contractor nowadays?) near the old K-25 site at Oak Ridge. I can occasionally hear the unmistakable sound of that vehicle mounted machine gun they like to brag about so much. It's an eerie sound.

Joe328's picture

Carol, you can't see the forest for the trees

I sure wouldn't be thrilled to know this proposed project would bring mercenaries and macho- commando types in my town.

I spent 32 years in the military and I don't believe you will see mercenaries and macho-commando types in the town. What I see is a country club hidden inside a gun range.

Closing a gun range to the public and guarding it, is like closing the garbage dump and protecting it with the FBI. I've been to ranges like this before. The most difficult task to complete at a place like this is firing a weapon!

Six million dollars to turn 75 acres into a training facility is about four million over cost. Now, how do we spend the extra four million?

I sure hope my retired military ID is good at this place. I'll bet that the best whiskey, steak, and hot tub in the area will soon be in Lake City.

Homeland Security is a GRAVY TRAIN for this type of funding.

Carole Borges's picture

While I do admire the quality of our military personnel

I must say back in the day when I was engaged to an ex-Navy Seal, their wild and macho ways seemed quite exhilirating. They seemed to thrive on danger, excess and excitement. Being more mature (I am generalizing, so maybe I'm a bit biased here), I see that these types of men, the ones who drink hard, live fast, and don't care if they die young, are often immature, and violence of one sort or another usually follows them. My ex-fiance was dead before he was forty. So I was thinking maybe this facility would attract men like this.

The country club concept you mentioned is probably true. I really resent the fact that Homeland Security has become a huge gravy train and that people are profiting big time from this war, all the reckless spending and without oversight.

I do not like Blackwater. I've heard too many first hand stories about those guys. I've watched the CEO testify arrogantly when questioned by Congress, and I heard first hand how very scary they were during the Katrina aftermath. Like Ninja Turtles with an attitude.

Would a company like Blackwater be managing this facility? Would that mean a lot of employees with that kind of mentality would be moving into the area?

Guns for sport are okay in my book, but having a range that might attract wing-nuts like Malvo the Virginia sniper--who did practice at a shooting range complex before he went berserk, worries me.

Isn't there a better usage of that land? All that greenspace going for something that is violent seems wrong.

I don't live anywhere near there, thank goodness. If I did I would be very actively organizing against this project.

Anonymous's picture

Your comments were

Your comments were appreciated but fell short once you said you didnt live anywhere close to this area "thank goodness". As a resident from this area under discussion, what makes you think you can evaluate this community's acceptance or disagreement with this project. Have you ever stepped foot on this piece of rocky ground. Your comments of immature highly -trained soldiers is only your opinion, and isolated at that, especially the Malvo case....give me a break. Just to fill you in, many of this county's war heros came from this hollow. All I am saying is, I do not tell you what to do with your backyard so dont tell us what to do with ours. Thank you.

P.S. We would like to hear some of those "first-hand" accounts about those guys. Be sure to cite your sources next time like an educated person would.

Beech Grove Boy's picture

I grew-up in Beech Grove

I grew-up in Beech Grove years ago and feel it was the best place on the face of the planet to to be raised, but after returning home after military service I found a lost, drug-infested, disgusting, trash-filled community that had no resemblance of my childhood. Most if not all of the pillars of the community has passed away. What was left behind became thieves, drug dealers, and unemployed wanderers. This is a broad statement of this community, and all do not fall into this category, but take a drive up to Beech Grove, and be a first hand witness to a third-world community. Any type of change to this community would be an inprovement. Let them build, build big, build relationships in the community, let us be proud that this type of work will benefit this country greatly. Beech Grovians...push your shoulders back and keep your head high..lets show them we are an accepting people, proud of our past are where we are today because of it.

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