b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEaccuracy. In addition, the plant ware- its way from Pocatello northwest to the Co mp a n y, another Idaho constructionhoused ordnance and manufactured towns of Arco and Mackay. The place firm. The place was dedicated andnew guns and gun mountslarge and was sixty-five miles from Pocatello, ready for business on August 2, 1943. 5smallfor service on Pacific fleet bat- and it would be easy to extend a spurtleships. 3 line and build a siding. The Navy with- The eighty-five-acre proof area wasdrew about 271 square miles from the north of the residential area and fenced;As an accessory to the plant, the Navy public domain and built the Naval anyone entering had to pass a guard-needed a firing range on flat terrain and Proving Ground (NPG). Its acreage cut house. It contained a battery of gunabout thirty miles long to proof fire the a jagged-edged swath into the desert emplacements, a concussion wall andguns. It first considered a site near roughly nine miles wide and thirty-six control tower, and magazines forTaber, a tiny settlement about forty miles long. From the firing point at the smokeless powder, fuzes, and charges.miles northwest of Pocatello. But the south end, the guns had an unobstruct- An office building, railroad trackage,ground there was uneven, and lava rock ed range toward the northeast. oil storage tanks, electrical substation,was too close to the surface for ease of and other facilities supported the opera-construction. The Navy looked further The Navy intended to house some of tions. A locomotive hauled the gunsnorth and found an ideal site: flat, its employees, both military and civil- and other loads from place to placeremote, and unpopulated. What few ian, at the proving ground with their around the proof area. Most of theacres were in private hands had to be families. The facility was divided into buildings were made of reinforced con-condemned, but most of the land was in two parts: the residential area and the crete to withstand the vibration andthe public domain. 4 proof area. As at Pocatello, the shock from the guns and potentialMorrison-Knudsen Company built munitions explosions.On the southern edge of the site, a everything at the site, subcontractingUnion Pacific branch line passed by on some of the work to the J.A. Ter t ei The concussion wall, designed tol ngabsorb blast and protect those whofired the guns, was a particularly for-midable piece of architecture. Standingbetween the gun emplacements and theresidential area to the south, it was 315 feet long, 8 feet thick, and 15 1/2feet high. Its rebar was doubled andplaced in a close eight-inch grid. Thosein the control tower behind the wallcould peer out of narrow window slitsat the emplacements, each painted witha letter to make up the slogan SAFETY FIRST. 6Residential area of the Naval Proving Ground as itlooked in July 1951, view to southwest. Oldersection is at right near water tower.INEEL 29741 0'