PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The shoot house is a 21st Security Forces Squadron training center for Peterson Air Force Base law enforcement personnel. This facility is used by 21st SFS Airmen and civilian law enforcement personnel to train and hone their skills as law enforcement professionals.
The shoot house was created reutilizing the old Peterson AFB Military Exchange building after it was shut down. The demolition of the current shoot house was planned to make room for a new lodging complex in 2020.
The shoot house demolition will impact the training capabilities of the 21st SFS. Airmen from the 21st SFS, 50th Security Forces Squadron, Schriever Air Force Base, Fort Carson Military Police and Colorado Springs Police Department are just some of the agencies that have benefitted from the facility for over the past five and a half years, said Isaac Lopez, 21st SFS unit trainer.
Air Force Instruction 36-2646 dictates that all SFS Airmen train to keep their law enforcement skills sharp and current, from active shooter scenarios to basic target qualifications. However, the AFI does not state that a designated training facility is necessary to conduct the training in. Relocating the shoot house or finding a new means to conduct the required training is a top priority for the 21st SFS at Peterson.
“The shoot house is a great experience for new Airmen coming from technical school, giving them the opportunity to engage in a fully emerged munitions firing simulation,” said Staff Sgt. William Barron, 21st SFS unit trainer. “This is the most extensive shoot house I’ve ever seen, offering multiple access and egress points with numerous training stations to maintain our mission readiness.”
The shoot house has 22 distinct training areas and has accommodated up to 140 people at six different active stations at one time. These stations are operated with live fire training simulations without incurring a single safety mishap.
“Before we had the shoot house we were able to occasionally get some training done using abandoned buildings or houses on base that were being remodeled or torn down,” Lopez said. “The units were okay superficially, we could use them to kick down a few doors and maybe get some tactical training done, but those were rare opportunities and we could only do with small groups.”
The shoot house is complete with a $280,000 VirTra simulator that has over 176 programed simulations that personnel can manipulate to create unique situational challenges for Airmen, specific to their mission requirements. The simulations can vary from target range practice to close quarter urban active shooter scenarios.
The shoot house is the only indoor training center from Monument to Fountain, Colorado. It services the entire Front Range, running multiple training stations and accommodating over a hundred personnel simultaneously. The 21st SFS is currently reviewing alternate sites to conduct their training.