LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– The U.S. Air Force’s premier Threat Training Facility (TTF) also known as the “Petting Zoo,” which houses a collection of adversary weapons at Nellis Air Force Base, will be closed to the public for relocation.
TTF, owned and managed by the 547th Intelligence Squadron, is home to a collection of adversary weapons including ground equipment, surface-to-air missile systems, and aircraft.
The equipment is being relocated on Nellis Airforce Base near the Simmons Gate as part of the 365th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group MILCON project.
“The purpose of the TTF is to educate and train warfighters through a blend of physical and virtual instructional methodologies,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeremy Hirsch, 547th Intelligence Squadron commander. “Seeing these real weapons systems up close offers unique opportunities to understand how they might be used by an adversary in combat.”
Though much of the equipment is from the Soviet era, Hirsch said that these systems bolster the unit’s understanding of tactics observed on modern battlefields. He said that it can be used as a building block toward understanding more advanced threats being fielded by adversaries.
Nellis AFB says that one of the first benefits of the relocation is the opportunity to refurbish equipment that has been sitting in the Las Vegas heat for decades.
The 547th team has planned the new layout to take students on a journey from early technology to newer weapons systems.
“The TTF move offers an opportunity to bring threat-representative training to a new generation of Airmen,” Hirsh said.
Hirsh said that in order to maximize the training value of the TTF, they are filling gaps in training by blending technology to take students beyond what is in front of them by using tools such as QR-code links and information that can be accessed from any smartphone.
In the meantime, there will be several; opportunities to interact with some of the weapon systems and 547 IS instructors including the Nellis AFB Air Show in November.