by Tech. Sgt. Raymond Mills
JBER Public Affairs
1/23/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Ten
law enforcement officers from Ted Stevens International Airport
conducted active shooter training at the modular armed tactical combat
house, commonly referred to as the shoot house, on Joint Base
Elmendorf-Richardson Jan. 7 in an effort to hone tactical skills
critical to first responders in emergency situations.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, an active shooter is
an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people
in a confined and populated area. Recent active shooter incidents around
the nation have underscored the need for a coordinated response by law
enforcement and other agencies to save lives.
"Today's training is to have officers work together to shoot, move and
communicate," said Airport Officer Dan Juarez, also a Marine Reservist.
"We are not trying to build a community emergency response team or
anything, but throughout the country we have had situations involving
active shooters, whether it be at schools or international airports. So
we want the officers to be prepared, because a lot of times that patrol
officer is going to be the first on scene and needs to be able to react
accordingly, Juarez said."
Realistic training and preparedness are critical when responding to active shooter simulations.
"JBER offers a lot of great facilities to train on and the instrumented
shoot house is one of them," Juarez said. "It has cameras in addition to
sound to add to the realism."
The shoot house is equipped to give the trainees ambient noises and
real-world stressors, such as screaming and sounds of panic, to prepare
them for the chaotic environment they may encounter.
"Before conducting training, we completed several dry fire runs, which
is handling the weapon without live ammunition," said Airport Police and
Fire Department, Officer Lt. Harry Crippen. "We practice dry fire
because presentation of the firearm and trigger control are important
parts that can be practiced without ammunition and not at a range."
By executing dry runs, the teams could safely move through the shoot
house while learning the appropriate tactics, techniques and procedures
without risking accidents before progressing to live ammunition.
The trainees brought their own issued weapons to the facility rather than using practice weapons.
"The shoot house training with real guns and live ammo is invaluable,"
Crippen said. "It better prepares us to respond by using the weapons
we'll actually use in a real response."
This training opportunity allowed JBER and the Anchorage International
Airport Police and Fire Departments to strengthen the existing
"We appreciate everybody at JBER, the military folks and civilian
contractors at range control," Crippen said. "We also appreciate
everybody's help with facilitating this training and we appreciate our
warfighters out there protecting us and keeping us safe so that we can
do the same for them on the home front."