Marine Corps-standard obstacle course open at Fort Lee

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Story by Terrance Bell on 11/22/2017
FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 22, 2017) -- Fort Lee is no longer an obstacle course desert.

The installation now offers a world-class outdoor exercise facility for the more than 15,000 permanent party personnel and 70,000 students who train here yearly.

"This obstacle course is another tool in our kitbag that will help us accomplish our mission of training ordnance professionals and providing them the skillsets that will directly build Army and Marine Corps combat power," said Col. Sean Davis, 59th Ordnance Brigade commander during a ribbon cutting Friday on the Ordnance Campus.

Those present for the event included Brig. Gen. David Wilson, Chief of Ordnance; Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Burton, Ordnance Corps CSM; and CSM Gabriel Harvey, 59th Ord. Bde. CSM.

The new course, now the only operational one here, is located on the infield of the "Black Track" adjacent to the Ordnance Resiliency and Training Center. Its construction was a joint Ordnance School/Fort Lee Marine Corps Detachment project, however, its use is open to all installation units. The 59th Ordnance Brigade will administer the facility.

Built to Marine Corps standards, the structure is comprised of more than 15 obstacles arranged in a straight line most of them constructed using logs standing on a deep bed of sand. It includes a rope climb, horizontal bars and walls. It is roughly as long as a football field.

The structure is the first Marine Corps-standard obstacle course built on an Army installation, said Davis.

"I grew up on a course like this at the (Virginia Military) Institute down the street,' he said. "Every cadet at my school went through this course whether they were Marine Corps, Army, Navy or Air Force. It is a rigorous one, and it will kick your fourth point of contact, for sure."

Several Soldiers and Marines navigated their way through the course following the ribbon cutting. Most completed it in roughly 8 minutes. The course can accommodate 60 people every 30 minutes, said Davis.

"That's an amazing workout in a short amount of time," he said.

The obstacle course will greatly enhance the fitness offerings on the Ordnance Campus, said Harvey.

"This adds a lot," he said. "We are trying to compensate for having a small gym. This will give Soldiers and Marines an additional fitness option."

The Ordnance Campus has two running tracks, and a small fitness facility serving a population of roughly 3,000 Soldiers and Marines.

Only one other obstacle course exists at Lee. It is located on training area 18 but is rarely used.

Touting the improvements made on the Ordnance Campus recently, Davis said he hopes the ORTC will eventually include a fitness center "that will teach our Soldiers how to improve in each component of the Performance Triad."

The Performance Triad is an Army health and wellness promotion focusing on sleep, activity and nutrition.

Units may reserve the obstacle course by calling the 59th Ord. Bde., S-3 at (804) 765-9411. Reservations should be made at least six weeks in advance, and there will be other requirements related to safety that need to be met.

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