by Mike Gibson Manufacturing
Rappel Towers, Training and Shooting towers are facilities all agencies need, but aren't as readily available as Pepper Poppers or other targets. Since our background is in heavy and structural steel, it seemed only natural to offer one as a regular product.
The images below are a tower we built at Fort Richardson, Alaska, the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico and the Inclined Wall, also at Ft. Richardson. Each level is floored with grating, but we can pour a concrete floor, if that is what you need. We've got a pretty decent video of the White Sands project. Please call me and I'll be glad to send you a copy of it on a CD.There are as many options to towers as you can think of. A few that come immediately to mind are:
- Helo pad on the top (complete with FAA approved lighting)
- Covered top so you can fast rope out of the helo on to the roof
- Simulated helicopter strut for Fast Rope practice
- A "rock" wall all the way up one side, for the serious climbers and rappelling
- Complete (or partial) glass wall for the "high rise" training
- Inclined wall – for angle ascent and decent and asymmetrical training, mitigates vertical fall injuries.
- Complete or partial wood framed walls with window openings
- Enclosed and "double back" stair wells for clearing exercises
- Additional height (you need 200 feet? No problem.)
- Ballistic (bullet proof) Walls at any location
- Breaching Doors
- 36" diameter vertical pipe for close proximity (mine shaft/elevator shaft) rescue training
- Incorporation of the tower, into an existing Shoot House facility
Rappel and shooting towers aren't an item that every agency is going to be able to afford, but every agency needs one. Do your snipers have a clue about shooting up or down at a steep angle? All of your SRT team know how to rappel, but how many of them are really good at it? How often do they get legitimate practice? How long does it take them to get ready? (Knowing how to do something doesn't make you good at it.) How many flights of stairs can your team run up, carrying all their gear? A stair climber at the gym can't duplicate the real thing.
Too many agencies overlook the fact that other agencies in their vicinity can and will help cover the cost of something like this. Additionally, there are grants available for range improvement. The more people that use a particular piece of equipment or facility, the more likely you are to get the grant.
Regarding cost, we are in the $200K range, depending on height, options, and your geographic location. Engineering considerations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, soils conditions, ground water, etc. have to be addressed for each specific location. This is a chunk of money, but I guarantee your boss will be delighted after he sees it. Sometimes when an agency "saves" money, and ends up with a piece of junk. At that point, everybody associated with the project is embarrassed, and the higher up the ladder you go, the more embarrassing it is. "Why did we waste our money.....Who is responsible....." That won't happen here. Everybody associated with this project is going to be a hero.
As with all of our more significant equipment, MGM will handle it. All of it. Our people will come and do a soil analysis; we'll then design the footings and foundation to accommodate all the above mentioned variables (i.e wind, earthquakes, etc.) When the engineering is finished, we'll come in and do the excavation, soils prep and compaction, concrete and anchor bolt forming and placement. We are usually looking at about 60 days, start to finish, but we can make it happen sooner if time is critical for you. When we go on a job like this, we take all the people we need. (We don't go to a temp agency when we get there, and hope to find someone smart enough to run a Crescent wrench.) Our soils and structural engineers are licensed in all 50 states. Our concrete people are concrete people every day. Our ironworkers are hanging iron as you read this. Our crane operators are certified, and are flying steel every day.
My job is to make your job easy. When you are ready for something like this, I'd be honored if you'd give me a call. I'll send you a set of blueprints, and provide you will all the technical support you'll need to get the project approved.