NSWC Dahlgren Division Range Testing
NSWC Dahlgren Division Range Testing

DAHLGREN, Va. – Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) plans to conduct range testing April 25-29 from 8 a.m.-5p.m., that may produce LOUD NOISE in communities surrounding NSF Dahlgren. Access to the Potomac River Middle Danger Zone (MDZ), as described in 33 CFR 334.230, will be restricted during testing.

NSWCDD delivers warfare systems to protect the nation and defeat its adversaries. Its vision is to design, develop, and integrate technologically superior warfare systems for the 21st century. 

Range schedules can change frequently. For daily updates on range operations and test schedules, call the NSWCDD Range and Weapons Testing toll free hotline at (877) 845-5656 or visit the Potomac River Test Range website,

For questions or more information, contact the NSWCDD Public Affairs Office at NSWCD_103.fct@navy.mil or (540) 653- 8154.

Range Schedule for the week of April 25-29, 2022

Monday, April 25
Testing at: Buildings 1180-1186/EEA/PRTR River Operations/Shock Tube Road/AA Fuze Range
*Operating Times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
* Noise on Station: Potential to create “Loud” noise in the eastern (Main Range and Terminal Range) area of NSF Dahlgren.
* Noise Down Range: Potential to create “Loud” noise down range and in communities surrounding NSF Dahlgren.
* River Restrictions: Restricted approximately 10,000 yards down range from NSF Dahlgren below the yellow “O” buoy (Maryland) and to the yellow “N” buoy (Virginia).
* Roads Closed on Station: Tisdale Road/Shocktube Road/Blue Stone Road/River Bank Road/Fuze Road
* Barricades Closed on Station: Area 3 Barricade/Shocktube Road Barricade/Hide Away Pond Barricade/1410 Back Gate/Blue Stone Road Barricade/Churchill Range/Harris Range/North Main Range Gate 1/North Main Range Gate 2/Fuze Road Barricade/Lower Gambo Creek Gate/Upper Gambo Creek Gate/Middle Gate/1470 Gate
* EMCON Conditions: Condition 2 in Buildings 995/948/1122/455, Condition 1 in Buildings 1180/1186, Condition 4 in Buildings 102/161/943
* MR Shelter Condition:
* Other Notifications: None

Tuesday, April 26
Testing at: Buildings 1180-1186/EEA/PRTR River Operations/Shock Tube Road/AA Fuze Range
*Operating Times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
* Noise on Station: Potential to create “Loud” noise in the eastern (Main Range and Terminal Range) area of NSF Dahlgren.
* Noise Down Range: Potential to create “Loud” noise down range and in communities surrounding NSF Dahlgren.
* River Restrictions: Restricted approximately 10,000 yards down range from NSF Dahlgren below the yellow “O” buoy (Maryland) and to the yellow “N” buoy (Virginia).
* Roads Closed on Station: Tisdale Road/Shocktube Road/Blue Stone Road/River Bank Road/Fuze Road
* Barricades Closed on Station: Churchill Range/Harris Range/Area 3 Barricade/Shocktube Road Barricade/Hide Away Pond Barricade/1410 Back Gate/Blue Stone Road Barricade/Lower Gambo Creek Gate/Upper Gambo Creek Gate/Middle Gate/1470 Gate/North Main Range Gate 1/North Main Range Gate 2/Fuze Road Barricade
* EMCON Conditions: Condition 2 in Buildings 995/948/1122/455, Condition 1 in Buildings 1180/1186, Condition 4 in Buildings 102/161/943
* MR Shelter Condition:
* Other Notifications: None

Wednesday, April 27
Testing at: Buildings 1180-1186/EEA/PRTR River Operations/Terminal Range/Shock Tube Road
*Operating Times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
* Noise on Station: Potential to create “Loud” noise in the northern “C” gate area of NSF Dahlgren.
* Noise Down Range: Potential to create “Loud” noise down range and in communities surrounding NSF Dahlgren.
* River Restrictions: Restricted approximately 10,000 yards down range from NSF Dahlgren below the yellow “O” buoy (Maryland) and to the yellow “N” buoy (Virginia).
* Roads Closed on Station: Tisdale Road/Shocktube Road/Blue Stone Road
* Barricades Closed on Station: Churchill Range/Harris Range/Area 3 Barricade/Shocktube Road Barricade/Hide Away Pond Barricade/1410 Back Gate/Blue Stone Road Barricade/Lower Gambo Creek Gate/Upper Gambo Creek Gate/Middle Gate/1470 Gate
* EMCON Conditions: Condition 2 in Buildings 995/948/1122/455, Condition 1 in Buildings 1180/1186, Condition 4 in Buildings 102/161/943
* MR Shelter Condition:
* Other Notifications: None

Thursday, April 28
Testing at: Buildings 1180-1186/EEA/PRTR River Operations/Terminal Range/Shock Tube Road
*Operating Times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
* Noise on Station: Potential to create “Loud” noise in the northern “C” gate area of NSF Dahlgren.
* Noise Down Range: Potential to create “Loud” noise down range and in communities surrounding NSF Dahlgren.
* River Restrictions: Restricted approximately 10,000 yards down range from NSF Dahlgren below the yellow “O” buoy (Maryland) and to the yellow “N” buoy (Virginia).
* Roads Closed on Station: Tisdale Road/Shocktube Road/Blue Stone Road
* Barricades Closed on Station: Churchill Range/Harris Range/Area 3 Barricade/Shocktube Road Barricade/Hide Away Pond Barricade/1410 Back Gate/Blue Stone Road Barricade/Lower Gambo Creek Gate/Upper Gambo Creek Gate/Middle Gate/1470 Gate
* EMCON Conditions: Condition 2 in Buildings 995/948/1122/455, Condition 1 in Buildings 1180/1186, Condition 4 in Buildings 102/161/943
* MR Shelter Condition:
* Other Notifications: None

Friday, April 29
Testing at: Buildings 1180-1186/PRTR River Operations/AA Fuze Range
*Operating Times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
* Noise on Station: Potential to create “Loud” noise in the eastern (Main Range and Terminal Range) area of NSF Dahlgren.
* Noise Down Range: Potential to create “Loud” noise down range and in communities surrounding NSF Dahlgren.
* River Restrictions: Restricted approximately 15,000 yards down range from NSF Dahlgren below the yellow “M” buoy (Maryland) and to the yellow “L” buoy (Virginia).
* Roads Closed on Station: Tisdale Road/Shocktube Road/Blue Stone Road/River Bank Road/Fuze Road
* Barricades Closed on Station: Area 3 Barricade/Shocktube Road Barricade/Hide Away Pond Barricade/1410 Back Gate/Blue Stone Road Barricade/North Main Range Gate 1/North Main Range Gate 2/Fuze Road Barricade
* EMCON Conditions: Condition 2 in Buildings 995/948/1122/455, Condition 1 in Buildings 1180/1186, Condition 4 in Buildings 102/161/943
* MR Shelter Condition:
* Other Notifications: None

NSWC Dahlgren Division Range Testing

Map shows the Middle Danger Area of the Potomac River. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Site (NSWCDL), Dahlgren, Virginia furnishes this chart, in the interest of the safety of watercraft traffic on the Potomac River. It does not apply to the aircraft flying over the area.

The Potomac River Middle Danger Area is part of the large danger area described in the U.S. Coastal Pilot 3, Atlantic Coast, Sandy Hook to Cape Henry. Entry into this area is hazardous to watercraft when guns and other ordnance items are being fired or other testing is being conducted by the NSWCDL in connection with the development of weapons for national defense.

In order to assure that no watercraft are endangered by such testing, NSWCDL stations range control boats (international orange superstructure over white hull) in the proximity of areas rendered hazardous by the test operations. Figure 2 shows a range control boat. It is the responsibility of these boats to ensure that no watercraft are endangered by the test operation. Normally, these boats are located near Lower Cedar Point (Buoy “R”, near 301 bridge), near Swan Point, Maryland (Buoy “O”), off shore at Colonial Beach, Virginia. (Buoy “N”), and at the mouth of Upper Machodoc Creek. These buoys are depicted on the Middle Danger Area map.

NSWC Dahlgren Division Range Testing boat

When range control boats are flying a red flag, watercraft must not enter any portion of the danger area or operate anywhere close to the danger area without having obtained permission from the nearest range control boat. A siren sounded at a watercraft from a range control boat is a signal to come alongside for instructions as to how to proceed and information on areas that must be avoided.

A red flag will be flying at the NSWCDL Yardcraft piers during times that test operations are being conducted in the Potomac River. All watercraft that desire to proceed in or out of Upper Machodoc Creek during test operati0ons will be provided specific instructions for transit. Normally, use of the back channel (along a line from Buoy “P” to NSWCDL Yardcraft main pier) will be permitted.

NSWC Dahlgren Division Range Testing

Firing schedules are arranged to cause minimum inconvenience to river traffic and generally the range is not closed for long periods of time. Normally, test operations are conducted between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM daily, except weekends and national holidays. Infrequently, the range is used during other hours and/or at night in order to take advantage of favorable light or atmospheric conditions or due to emergency situations.

When testing is in progress, entry into any part of the danger area without specific clearance by proper authority is prohibited by regulations promulgated by the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, pursuant to the authority of Sections 1 and 3, Title 33, U.S. Code. The danger areas are described in the U.S. Coastal Pilot 3, Atlantic Coast, Sandy Hook to Cape Henry. Although these regulations are enforceable, NSWCDL desires to cooperate with, and assist, all watercraft operating in the Potomac River danger areas.

Dahlgren Range Control monitors marine ship-to-shore channels 16 and 14 and citizens band channel 5. Please direct questions and request for information to Naval Support Activity South Potomac Public Affairs Office, (540) 653-8153 or NSWC Dahlgren Public Affairs Office, (540) 653-8152.

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