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How the US Air Force Uses Shipping Containers to Ensure Security

Jun 3, 2021
How the US Air Force Uses Shipping Containers to Ensure Security

On the Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, the Melrose Air Force Range is the Air Force Special Operations Command’s only training range. The training of personnel at this range is of paramount importance, so proper security measures are essential. That’s why the military officials chose to work with modified shipping containers to create their portable check-in facility.

The 70,000-acre range operates under the authority of the Cannon Air Force Base wing commander and has roots dating back to the Korean War era. Today, the range creates highly trained soldiers and airmen through integrated combat scenarios and electronic combat. In fact, the Melrose Air Force Range accumulates approximately 3,500 user training days each calendar year. The importance of this facility in properly training personnel so they can work effectively and return home safely is undeniable.

Prioritizing Safety with Modified Containers


Like any military base, safety and security protocols exist to protect the soldiers, their training, and visitors. Modified shipping containers help Melrose officials maintain those protocols. Two 40-foot shipping containers combined into a 640 square foot office space awaits visitors at the facility entrance. Upon arrival to the range, individuals must be checked in at the container structure where they receive eye protection and electronic trackers along with a safety briefing.

To create the appropriate structure for the range – a structure big enough to handle large groups, computer workstations, and staff –a side wall was removed from each of two 40-foot containers. Combining the two 40-foot containers created the ideal sized space for two check-in desks, gear storage, and a briefing and waiting area. Removing the walls created a clear span area that is structurally supported by columns in the center of the room. The open room allows space designated for all the required mechanical and communication features in the structure.

Why Shipping Containers?



Shipping container manufacturers create them to remain secure. Containers can withstand harsh weather and are difficult to penetrate, making shipping containers a great option for a secure military base check-in facility. The structure gives military personnel confidence that no matter the scenario, their facility will remain safe and reliable.


The opportunity for Melrose officials to relocate the check-in facility in the future was an important feature for them. Shipping containers are made to be mobile. Even after modifications, the units can be detached, pulled apart, and loaded onto a truck to be relocated. As the facility changes in the future, Melrose officials can remain confident that their check-in facility will adapt alongside them.


Modifying shipping containers with insulation, windows, doors, air conditioning, and more creates a comfortable and professional structure. Not only do shipping containers check off the security and mobility boxes, but the ability to modify containers to create the ideal space helped the personnel at Melrose get a structure that worked best for their needs. Visitors feel comfortable and workers feel at ease in the modified container facility.

If you’d like to learn more about the possibilities of modified shipping containers for your project, give us a call at 877-704-0177 or email us at Sales@FalconStructures.com. We’re happy to talk through your project and point you in the right direction.

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