By Ileen Kennedy
Utah National Guard
The Utah National Guard’s new Special Operations Forces Live-Fire Shoot House (SOF LFSH) located at Camp Williams, Utah, officially opened, July 11, 2022.
“This live-fire shoot house facility represents years of hard work from many people and organizations and will be a game changer in the quality and type of training that Soldiers receive,” said Capt. Kami Muramoto, range operations officer.
The SOF LFSH will primarily support U.S. Army Special Operations Forces in initial and advanced training related to close-quarter battle and urban combat scenarios. It will also support Utah Army National Guard Soldiers, as well as law enforcement agencies, in training on advanced urban combat skills to include advanced marksmanship techniques, close-quarter battle, and urban movement techniques. This live-fire shoot house facility will give Soldiers a premier facility to improve and hone combat techniques which will allow them to fight and win in any environment they are deployed.
“I think of two different lines of effort here in the Utah National Guard that this facility allows us to gratify and fulfill our needs. The first of which is readiness. This is going to build readiness for our units, but I think it’s also going to build readiness for our law enforcement partners,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Turley, adjutant general, Utah National Guard. “Our other lines of effort that we are always looking to improve upon are partnerships. This is a partnership building, a building that allows us to work together with those that serve us as well as we serve them.”
As part of the ceremony, Soldiers from the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) performed a demonstration of advanced urban combat using live rounds, while those attending watched from the catwalk that spans the center of the second story of the building. Four member teams cleared the rooms on each side of the building, starting at the front and working their way through each room determining if the person was a threat or a friendly.
The facility was constructed with specific materials to withstand live-ammunition firing within the rooms. The facility is also multi-story and includes the ability for units and organizations to perform advanced marksmanship training within the training areas immediately surrounding the shoot house facility. This includes a sniper observation tower, after-action control building, a control center, ammo building and training area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was intimately involved in every stage of planning and construction.
Planning for this $11.4 million-dollar facility started in 2015, and construction began in 2018. This state-of-the-art facility is only found on four Army bases in the U.S., with this facility being the only one on a National Guard base.
Invited to participate and attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony were a number of surrounding community mayors and police chiefs. Police departments will be able to schedule time to use the SOF LFSH facility to train their police force using live-fire rounds.
“I was little shocked that it would come here, but why not? We train the best Soldiers here; we certainly train the best law enforcement here. So, it seems like it was a good place to fit,” said Troy Carr, Herriman City police chief. “The surroundings were perfect, it’s close to an international airport, it’s close to a good support system. So, I think it’s the right place.”
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