• July 28, 2014

Growing obstacles: More fitness options

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Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 4:30 am

New functional fitness obstacle courses across Fort Hood are nearly ready for action.

Four sites — all open to the Fort Hood public — are expected to be up and running by the beginning of February, said 1st Lt. Ben Speckhart, 104th Engineer Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, the officer-in-charge of the project.

There are eight planned sites in total, featuring obstacles including a wall climb, rope climb, dip bars, pull up bars and vaults.

At this time, the new obstacle sites outside III Corps and Division West headquarters, Chili’s restaurant and Kieschnick Physical Fitness Center are 90 percent complete.

“We have to install the pull up and dip bars, bracing for some obstacles, aggregate mulch and ropes,” Speckhart said.

The Division West site looks ready for use to the average person, but it will remain closed until it is fully finished, said 2nd Lt. Jesenia Perez. She serves as the officer-in-charge the III Corps and Division West project sites.

Functional fitness obstacles offer soldiers or dependents a different type of workout.

“As opposed to running ... this augments that and gives soldiers movements closer to what they might see in a combat scenario,” Speckhart said.

The unit has received positive feedback on the project, which will also allow for competitions at the unit level.

It’s all about different options, Perez said. The site spacing allows for use as a full obstacle course or individual use of each obstacle.

In addition to providing more fitness choices to ID-card holders, the project gave the engineer soldiers a new challenge.

“It improves the footprint on Fort Hood, (but it’s also) training on MOS-specific skills,” Speckhart said.

Platoons divided up construction

The project construction was divided up by platoons within the construction unit, the 104th Engineer Company, allowing the engineers to work on tasks like carpentry.

The project took “a lot of coordination all around,” Speckhart said.

He was tasked with resource management. “There were a lot of moving pieces.” In addition to his company’s work, a number of other units within the battalion supported the project, providing equipment.

The project broke ground before Christmas.

Though the next four sites have been identified, a timeline of their construction is not yet known.

Once open, all eight obstacle sites will be free to use by anyone at Fort Hood.

mlozano@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7552

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