2017 Chevrolet Tahoe First Drive

A convoy of blacked-out ’17 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Midnight Edition SUVs haul along an unpaved road. The trucks ahead of us are periodically obscured by a swirl of kicked-up dust. Other than the steady ping of rocks along the underbody, the Tahoe we’re in is dead silent. We’re heading into The Range Complex (TRC), which looks like the isolated compound of some clandestine faction. The miles-long dirt road winds its way toward mobile trailers in the distance. What the hell is this place?

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

TRC is a Special Forces military training facility owned and operated by ex–Delta Force Lt. Col. James Reece. It provides tactical live-fire combat training as well as strategic communication courses to the military, government, law-enforcement agencies, and civilians. Reece’s team, some of whom are both instructors here and operations specialists for military and private contractors, are all either Special Forces veterans or active duty—primarily Delta Force.

Darkness has finally descended on the complex. Few lights flicker across TRC’s 1,982-acre sprawl. We sit in the passenger seat of a Tahoe equipped with the Z71 package, which features off-road–tuned shocks, tires, and skidplates. This Tahoe also has an infrared light bar strapped on the roof, and we’re in something called Surveillance mode, which means there isn’t a single light on in the entire SUV. The interior is as pitch as the black Bow Tie badge on the grille. Night-vision monoculars are secured to our heads. There were no helmets small enough for this writer, so the monocular is attached to a mesh cap aptly named a skull crusher.

Before the night was over we’d shot 9mm Glock pistols, an M4 rifle, and a .260 Remington sniper rifle. We’d driven under highly abnormal conditions and got to talk to men who’ve executed spectacularly dangerous missions that even the best Hollywood screenwriters likely couldn’t conceive. This was the first time journalists were allowed into TRC, and we’re honored to have been part of that group.