Shooting for innovation

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Ted Daigle
  • 307th Bomb Wing

Two new systems purchased by the 307th Security Forces Squadron were utilized during the March unit training assembly here.

               The purchases included a mobile urban shoot house and a tactical target system.  The items can be configured in a variety of ways to enhance mandatory training scenarios including, active shooter, expeditionary active shooter, force-on-force and shoot-move-communicate situations. 

              Prior to getting the systems, the unit could train for these skills at only one environment on Barksdale, an abandoned dormitory.  The building presented a host of problems for the 307th SFS.  It did not provide dynamic training and its availability was limited.

              “It was not configurable, so once the Airmen learned the layout they just went through repetitive muscle memory on the same problems,” said Capt. Joel Brown, 307th SFS commander.

              The new shoot house solved this training deficiency. It is modular and allows a variety of scenarios to be created within one training session. Inflatable walls can be rearranged to create different scenarios and targets can be easily moved, requiring Airmen to think quickly and adapt to changing environments.

               Its mobile design allowed it to be set up in less than an hour during the exercise, providing for more and better training opportunities.  Problems with limited access to proper training environments have almost been eliminated since the unit bought the systems.  

              “Because it is modular, it allows for a unit as small as a squad to set up a house and do training,” said Brown. “There is no limit; we can use it whenever we have time and space available.”

              Working with smaller groups allowed 307th SFS trainers to provide more realistic instruction during the March UTA.

              “The force-on-force training we can do with this equipment is the closest thing to combat an Airman can receive,” said Tech. Sgt. James Cosper, who serves in the unit’s training section. “It provides stress inoculation and gets them ready for combat situations.”

              Airmen going through the shoot house during the March UTA trained in full combat gear and had to overcome situations they might encounter in actual combat environments, including communication barriers and weapons malfunctions.

              “It is a very effective training environment, especially for the younger Airmen because they have to adapt to difficult situations,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Fruge, 307th SFS specialist.

              The items were purchased using Air Force Squadron Innovation Funds, a funding authority announced by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein in 2018. 

After Brown found the modular shoot house and the target system, the contracting process for getting funding was seamless.  He said the entire process took approximately four months.

According to purchasing documents, the modular system can be used indoors our outdoors and, when properly cared for, is designed to last for several years.