Fort Gordon will dedicate its new machine gun range today in memory of a former commanding general and Columbia County resident, the late Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray.
At the ceremony, set for 8 a.m. at Freedom Park, installation leaders will unveil a plaque dedicating the Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Multi-Purpose Machine Gun Range.
Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson, the commanding general of the Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, will officiate, according to a news release from the facility.
Gray commanded the Signal Center and Fort Gordon from August 1991 to July 1994. He was the first black commanding general of the installation and is widely credited with managing the expansion of Fort Gordon with the arrival of new units after the first Persian Gulf War.
He was inducted as a distinguished member of the Signal Regiment in 2000.
After his retirement from the Army in 1997, Gray lived in Evans and served as chairman of the Columbia County Democratic Party. He died in a car accident Nov. 23, 2011.
The gun range is under construction, with completion expected in early 2014. It will fill a training capabilities gap at Fort Gordon, where the Army post’s units must travel to Fort Stewart to qualify on heavy machine guns.