• BAGHDAD - A remote control car races around the dirt track located on Camp Liberty, Iraq, in a weekly competition that has been held for roughly the past four years. Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and civilians participate in this event every week, hoping to be named as the next victor.

    BAGHDAD - A remote control car races around the...

    BAGHDAD - A remote control car races around the dirt track located on Camp Liberty, Iraq, in a weekly competition that has been held for roughly the past four years. Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and civilians participate in this event every week, hoping...

  • BAGHDAD - Pineville, La. Native, Spc. Krider McCan (left) and Spc. Michael Hanks, from Lecompte, La., both members of the 225th Engineer Brigade, show off their collection of remote control cars.  Their cars, which come in various shapes and styles, can reach top speeds up to 70mph when properly tuned up. McCan and Hanks are just two members of the brigade's "Team Tango", who compete every Sunday in a friendly racing competition between other deployed service members at their local dirt race track on Camp Liberty, Iraq.

    BAGHDAD - Pineville, La. Native, Spc. Krider...

    BAGHDAD - Pineville, La. Native, Spc. Krider McCan (left) and Spc. Michael Hanks, from Lecompte, La., both members of the 225th Engineer Brigade, show off their collection of remote control cars. Their cars, which come in various shapes and styles...

  • BAGHDAD - Pineville, La. native, Spc. Krider McCan of the 225th Engineer Brigade, does a pre-race check on his remote control car for the upcoming race held every Sunday on Camp Liberty, Iraq. For the past four years, armed service personnel have been participating in this hobby to give them a break from the daily grind of deployed military life and get a little taste of excitement that comes with the friendly competition of racing RC cars.

    BAGHDAD - Pineville, La. native, Spc. Krider...

    BAGHDAD - Pineville, La. native, Spc. Krider McCan of the 225th Engineer Brigade, does a pre-race check on his remote control car for the upcoming race held every Sunday on Camp Liberty, Iraq. For the past four years, armed service personnel have been...

  • BAGHDAD - A remote control car catches air off a jump during a race held weekly between service members on Camp Liberty, Iraq. The dirt track, built roughly four years ago by service members stationed on the camp, is full of twist and turns to test the skills of each RC car operator and add to the racing excitement of the spectator. This Soldier hobby has increased in participation lately for one reason, "I got four hours where I almost forget that I am even in Iraq," said Spc. Krider McCan from Pineville, La.

    BAGHDAD - A remote control car catches air off...

    BAGHDAD - A remote control car catches air off a jump during a race held weekly between service members on Camp Liberty, Iraq. The dirt track, built roughly four years ago by service members stationed on the camp, is full of twist and turns to test the...

  • BAGHDAD - A remote control car catches air off a jump during a race held weekly between service members on Camp Liberty, Iraq. The dirt track, built roughly four years ago by service members stationed here, is full of twist and turns to test the skills of each RC car operator and add to the racing excitement of the spectator. This Soldier hobby has increased in participation lately for one reason, "I got four hours where I almost forget that I am even in Iraq," said Spc. Krider McCan from Pineville, La.

    BAGHDAD - A remote control car catches air off...

    BAGHDAD - A remote control car catches air off a jump during a race held weekly between service members on Camp Liberty, Iraq. The dirt track, built roughly four years ago by service members stationed here, is full of twist and turns to test the skills...

BAGHDAD - For Soldiers with the 225th Engineer Brigade, from Pineville, La., each day is full of twists and turns as missions change.

For the racing enthusiast Soldiers, every Sunday on Camp Liberty in Baghdad, the twists and turns take place on a dirt track.

Racing remote controlled cars in a friendly contest against other Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and civilians who they kindly call their competition, the engineer Soldiers find a common love that helps pass the time away from family and friends.

"We are out there every Sunday racing," said Spc. Krider McCan, from the 225th Eng. Bde.

The RC cars the Soldiers race are not like the ones you had as a kid. These cars on steroids come in various shapes and sizes and can run at speeds anywhere from 40 to 70mph. Some look like monster trucks, others like racecars, but when controlled properly, can be seen flying over jumps and navigating hairpin turns in a conquest to conquer the track. Sometimes the track wins, swallowing up the cars and spitting out little spare parts.

"Controlling a foot and a half long truck going 45mph is pretty hard," said Spc. Michael Hanks, from Lecompte, La. "It's hard to keep up with them, and the only way to get better is to practice."

And practice they do.

'Team Tango', composed of McCan, Hanks, and brothers, Sgt. 1st Class Russell Seamans and Spc. Walter Gammill, both of Lafayette, La., spend their downtime practicing, fixing and upgrading their RC cars, and assisting in maintaining the track in preparation for race day.

Why do these Soldiers who already have such demanding schedules take so much time out of their day to prepare for the next race'

"Before the races I didn't have anything to look forward too. I just went to work ... but now I know I have Sunday coming. I have four hours where I almost forget that I am even in Iraq," said McCan, from Pineville, La.

"It feels like just the other day it was February [the start of his combat tour] and now it is already June. Time flies when you are having fun," said Hanks.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16