The 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Soldiers renovated this room at their deployment base in Turkey, turning it into a fitness room.

TURKEY (April 25, 2013) -- When 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Soldiers deployed to Turkey as part of a NATO requested mission the unknowns were in great supply.

Will we have running water, a roof over our heads? Will we have latrines and where will we be able to work-out? These were just a few of the obstacles that had to be overcome by the 3-2nd ADA leadership.

Just a few months into their deployment, the Soldiers have overcome most of the obstacles and then some. The Soldiers took over some old barracks that had been neglected for years, and with host-nation cooperation, the facilities are now in a much better state.

"We have settled into the barracks and life is good. Save for a few leaky faucets and toilets here and there, we are smooth sailing with our living conditions," said Lt. Col. Branson, 3-2nd ADA commander.

With continued support from the Turkish 5th Armor Brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen. Kahramas Gunes, 3-2nd ADA Soldiers received and installed their first shipment of gym equipment. The original gym site was crumbling and unusable. The Soldiers established an interim tent-gym to keep as physically fit as possible until their new gym was ready. Although only opened for a short time, the new gym has been a popular stop both before and after their shifts at the Patriot site.

The battalion also established the "Holy Grounds Coffee Shop" during their brief stay at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. It was moved forward with the battalion as they occupied their positions near the town of Gaziantep. The coffee shop boasts fresh-ground coffee beans and rivals most commercial coffee shops in the United States. The coffee shop provides the Soldiers a chance to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, a warm bag of popcorn and the chance to use the makeshift Internet café the battalion established. The café offers Soldiers telephones and the Internet to communicate with loved ones and to watch some Armed Forces Network Television.

In addition to all the upgrades and strides made, the command team also authorized the first "Local Flavor" trip so that their hard-working Soldiers can get out and visit a bit of Turkish culture. The tour will highlight the Turkish culture and give the Soldiers a better understanding of local life.

Although the Soldiers have a very demanding mission ahead of them, the leadership has taken great strides to ensure they are both mentally and physically fit for the duration of the deployment.

Page last updated Thu April 25th, 2013 at 16:02