Cities don't just build themselves, not even pretend ones. The ghost city at Range 60 is no exception.

"We gave them everything that they needed, whatever they wanted, what they needed for a little city," said Debra White, Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office site supervisor.
The process began with Range 60 land managers, Lance Logue and Don Eiben, coming to DRMO and asking what they could get to build an Iraqi city on post. The workers at DRMO said "What do you need'"

"They came out here pretty often, at least once a week or several times a week and looked at what we had," White said. "And then we started keeping stuff to the side for them because we knew they could use it or they wanted it."

Over the next few months DRMO helped Logue and Eiben transform Range 60 from a collection of metal conexes into a city. Chairs from the NCO academy, old church pews, satellite dishes and various vehicles - a crash truck, dump truck, pickup trucks and even a fire engine - populated the otherwise deserted city.

"If you're doing dynamic entry drills, you really don't get good just going into a plain square ever time," Logue said. "The furniture helps turn a plain old metal conex into something other than just a metal conex - into a house, into stuff they have to be conscious of."

They have even taken that realism down to smaller details, including pots and pans on the stove in the kitchen and school books on desks in the two story school house.

"What a lot of units do is they come out and they put role players in the building, in the villages, and when a Soldier comes in there, it adds to the realism, but it also kind of teaches them to be respectful," Logue explained. "If I'm going into your house and I'm trying to be nice because I'm trying to find a bad guy, but I end up breaking all your pots and pans so now you have nothing to eat or eat off of or cook with, well did I really do any good'"

Logue said besides homes and homemade explosives labs they've been able to complete a hospital, police station, school house and mosque thanks to DRMO. Now they're working on filling their market place.

"We've gotten shelves from them and we've filled it with stuff they've found - cell phones, old computers that don't work," Logue said. "Then we've surrounded the shelves with Lexan, so it looks like a display case."

Electronic shops are important since cell phones have been used as detonators in the past, and the shops can be used for manufacturing IED components.

White said DRMO was happy to help give the Soldiers a realistic training ground, and to get the opportunity to reuse discarded items rather than destroying them or sending them to the landfill.

"We were really excited to put it to good use," White said. "We all kind of cringe when we have to throw things away here, so being able to use it on the installation, to use it to train the Soldiers before they deploy again - it's good stuff."

Logue said DRMO was vital in making training possible, and not just at Range 60.
"They do a lot of things for a lot of people, not just Range 60," Logue said. "They make the job easier."

Page last updated Fri November 13th, 2009 at 16:47