Former maximum-security prison becomes tactical training center

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IMMOKALEE — A thrilling helicopter operation demonstration had armed men rappelling onto the roof of a decommissioned maximum security prison during the launch of the new Force Center, a “Full Operations Readiness Complex.” The 68-acre training center is open to both firearm enthusiasts in the general public and law enforcement agencies.

Lake Okeechobee News/Danika J. Fornear
IMMOKALEE — A thrilling helicopter operation demonstration had armed men rappelling onto the roof of a decommissioned maximum-security prison during the launch of the new Force Center.

Tours of the facility, during their inaugural open house on Saturday, Aug. 29, revealed multiple ranges, including a mile-long range and one of the largest in the state, a 360 range, pistol and rifle bays and tactical training areas named “the City” and “Village,” an airfield, as well as overnight living quarters, both barracks-style and some comfy duplexes.

A group of investors, retired law enforcement officers and individuals in the gun industry have come together to develop this innovative new training center. They have welcomed groups of gun club members, deployment and military training for troops, athletes from the growing hobby known as the Tactical Games, SWAT teams and sheriff’s departments.

“The Force Center is fully configurable to almost any training situation. The ‘City’ currently offers venues that include a school with classrooms, a chapel, maximum security prison, administration building with multiple offices, dining hall area, theater, grocery store and a psych ward,” explained one of the Force Center’s tour guides.

Located in Hendry County but accessible by flight with their own airstrip and helipads, at 31101 Nafi Drive in Immokalee, the Force Center is fully renovated and has plans for expansion.

For more information about the events and gun club activity at the Force Center, please visit them online at forcecenterusa.com.

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