Paintball offers adrenaline rush
Capt. Thad Solhjen, a Captains Career Course student, takes aim at an opposing team member during a game of paintball last year.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 31, 2013) -- Adrenaline junkies are often searching for the next thing to get their rush, and Fort Rucker is offering one way for Soldiers and civilians to get their fill using strategy and tactics.

Paintball is offered on the installation at outdoor recreation in conjunction with Dothan Survival Games, and is available to the general public, said Brian Jackson, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

"Paintball is just one of the great activities provided by DFMWR," he said. "It's recreational, but it also helps tie into the team cohesiveness component that Soldiers are accustomed to. Although (participants) are using paintball guns to fire at one another, the activity creates a competitive environment on the leisurely side."

There are three different courses available on Fort Rucker near Lake Tholocco, each with their own character, said Jackson.

"The speedball course is a flat area with wooden barriers that are mirrored on both sides," he said. "Games end rather quickly on this course, but make for an exciting and high-adrenaline experience."

The other two courses are woodland courses, one big and one small.

"Both woodland courses give you a genuine feel of a fraction of being down range when it comes to strategy and down-range tactics used by military units," said Jackson. "I have learned numerous tactics through paintballing with Soldiers, and it's truly impressive to see the camaraderie and skill set used by our service members."

The price of paintball depends on the size of the group and rental equipment needed. The fields are only available by reservation and a minimum of six people is needed to utilize the courses on Fort Rucker. For more information or to make reservations, call 763-8202.

Paintball isn't used only for recreation, however. It's also used in the Installation Management Command Warrior Adventure Quest program, which is designed to recondition Soldiers who are returning from deployment, said Lance Oliver, ODR maintenance and WAQ facilitator.

"They get that rush every day (when deployed) and when they get back they seek that high again, often in very dangerous ways," said John Clancy, ODR manager. "When they are all pumped up and don't know how to get that out of their system, it can lead to injuries and even death, often caused by POV (personally owned vehicle) accidents. So, to help prevent that, this program and others like it were developed."

The funding from IMCOM enables Soldiers to participate in activities like this without any cost to them.

"It is a chance for them to find a free, reachable norm without them going off post alone and being reckless or getting into trouble," said Jackson. "WAQs activities provide a transition from overseas to being back in the states."

Fort Rucker is unique with IMCOM's requirement that Soldiers who participate must have been downrange in the past 120 days because it is a non-deploying base.

Oftentimes Soldiers go into the program looking for "the catch" but Clancy is determined to prove that the program is strictly about improving Soldier's mental states.

Some of the programs that have been set up for the program in the past are paintball, white water rafting, ropes courses, golf, deep sea fishing, zip lining, wave runner and parasailing, and Clancy said that other activities that are cost efficient are in development.

For more information on WAQ, call 255-4305.

Page last updated Fri May 31st, 2013 at 00:00