Fortunately, this is only a scenario replayed at the Live-Fire Shoot House operated by the Law Enforcement Extension program at the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The Shoot House, located at the Texas A&M Riverside Campus in Bryan, Texas, was developed to give officers a safe “laboratory” to learn and test their firearms training in a realistic and challenging urban environment. The 3,150-square-foot facility is essentially an indoor shooting range that allows for 360-degree live-fire firearms training in a safe environment.
Although realism in firearms training is important, safety is the principal design element in any shoot house. The interior walls of the TEEX facility are designed to safely absorb the impact of common pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammunition used by modern law enforcement agencies. The TEEX Shoot House is rated for the safe use of rifle ammunition up to and including 5.56 NATO. It includes entry doors that can be mechanically breached using hammers or rams and then quickly reset without damage. It can also be set up to allow for breaching using firearms and explosives.
Unlike traditional firearms ranges, which only allow for target placement and shooting in a single predictable direction, the TEEX Shoot House allows instructors to confront students with targets from multiple angles in an environment that simulates a home, office, or school room. The facility can be reconfigured with furniture and other props that significantly change the scenarios facing the students each time they enter. Lighting and sound can be manipulated to increase the level of distraction and stress placed on participants as they work their way through the training scenarios.
The primary topics taught in the facility include close-quarter skills such as breaching and room entry, dynamic and covert building clearing, deploying distraction devices, engaging multiple targets, and team movement. All these skills can be taught and tested using live ammunition with confidence that every round fired is being contained within its armored walls.
The TEEX Shoot House is utilized in support of several TEEX training courses including:
- Central Texas Police Academy
- Firearms Instructor
- Patrol Rifle Instructor
- Reality-Based Training Instructor
- Basic Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Training
- Tactical Team Close Quarter Countermeasures Instructor
- Explosive Breacher Entry
When attending skill-based training, students must receive valuable and actionable feedback about training scenarios from their teammates and instructors. To facilitate this feedback, the TEEX Shoot House is equipped with a digital video system that records student movement throughout the scenario. The scenarios that students face are often designed to be complex, time-consuming and stressful. Students may or may not remember individual segments of the overall event. Reviewing the video captured during the scenario allows training participants to assess their own performance and provides instructors with a valuable tool to correct or reinforce performance. By providing a safe training environment and realistic training simulations using the latest technology and instructional techniques, along with immediate feedback, the Shoot House experience will make officers better prepared for the unexpected.
NOTE: The TEEX Shoot House is not only used to support TEEX training, but is also available for training use by law enforcement agencies, SWAT teams, military units, and other customers. Agencies can contract with TEEX to provide instruction, supervise scenario-based training provided by the agency or for use by agency trainers. Contact TEEX Public Safety and Security at 800-423-8433 for more information.
--Cullen Grissom is Law Enforcement Training Director with TEEX Public Safety and Security and the Texas Law Enforcement Extension program, which has been training law enforcement, military, and security personnel for 70 years. He is a certified Master Peace Officer and Police Firearms Instructor with over 25 years of experience within the law enforcement/security profession, including 20 years in law enforcement instruction.