Location: Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Completed On: September 2011
7th Special Forces Backyard Training Ranges involves the construction of five (5) separate training ranges. The entire facility is constructed for the research, development and testing of equipment, machines, and human accuracy. Each range is fully designed and contains support facilities such as storage/operations facilities, classroom buildings, ammunition breakdown buildings and training buildings. Each range also has an independent control tower. There are more than 27 vertical construction single and multi-story buildings being constructed at the 7th Special Forces Group Backyard Training Ranges. The buildings/support facilities are constructed using concrete foundations, steel frames, split-faced block, EIFS, and a standing seam metal roof. The combined square footage of all buildings exceeds 28,000 square feet. Unique features of each range are below:
■ SOF Hand Grenade Qualification Course
The hand grenade qualification course is where the open air mess hall (dining area) is constructed. The course itself is surrounded by a berm and contains concrete bunker targets.
■ SOF Breach Facility
The breach facility is a live ammunition range. The targets on this range consist of “penetrable” fenestrations in each of the buildings.
■ SOF Shoot House and 100M Flat Range
This range contains flat shooting lanes with targets set at 100 meters to assist soldiers with zeroing in weapons. Targets are set in concrete, fully mechanized (electronically powered) and connected to the range control tower via telecommunication lines. Soldiers are able to review their performance at the After Action Review Theatre Building, which is part of this range. Unique to this range is a two story, A500 Steel (ballistic steel) 5,984 square feet multi-story Shoothouse which provides “real world” experience with anti-artillery and anti-infantry facilities.
■ SOF Shotgun Assault Course & 25M Flat Range
This range contains flat shooting lanes with targets set at 25 meters to assist soldiers with zeroing in weapons. Targets are set in concrete, fully mechanized (electronically powered) and connected to the range control tower via telecommunication lines.
■ SOF Urban Assault Course
The urban assault course is fully mechanized with computer controlled targets which emerge from simulated buildings and from behind berms. The urban assault course also has a 5,376 square foot two-story building with basement and attic which is used for training purposes. The basement of this building is underground and has several lengthy passageways consisted of buried 48” RCP pipe that lead to the outside. The “attic” of the training building leads to a flat roof with access for a helicopter landing.
Each range design also includes an independent control tower, roads, parking and utilities (electric and communications).
The location of the 7th Special Forces Group Backyard Training ranges began as undeveloped wooded property without any existing utilities. The total site area of the project is more than 95 acres. Prior to beginning construction on each range, Speegle Construction had to clear the land and build the infrastructure which included more than six miles of roadways throughout the project.