Klamath Falls, Ore. – A new facility at Kingsley Field is now being used to help train military, and civilian security forces.
You could call it a grand opening.
“It’s a perfect facility for us to train our tactics, how we go ahead and clear buildings.” Explains Lieutenant Colonel Lucas Ritter of the Oregon Air National Guard. “How we go ahead and sweep, for let’s say, an active shooter scenario.”
The 5,000 square foot ‘shoot house’ cost about $475,000.
Ritter explains the facility be used to simulate a variety of situations. “There’s camera capability inside, strobe light capability inside, we have the ability to pump in sound, as well as smoke to make it as realistic as possible.”
Staff Sergeant William Brow likes having a specialized facility. “Just the ability to have a structure that you can fully dedicate training in, where you’re able, if you want, to use simunitions, and put rounds in there you can.”
The training isn’t without hazard, as one person was taken to the hospital for injuries suffered from a ‘flash-bang’ grenade.
“Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that happens.” Lt. Col. Ritter notes. “And we hope that the airman will be safe, and back home soon.”
But in the long run, the training will improve the safety of all agencies involved.
Brow notes that having a space to work with multiple agencies will pay dividends. “Things vary so greatly. You might see something another team’s doing that you’re not, you actually find that you can improve upon your own skill sets – so it’s good to be able to work together on these things.”
A team from the 173rd Security Forces Squadron, 2 teams from Beale Air Force Base, and members of the local SWAT team took part in Wednesday’s training.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.