Outdoor Rec adds new features to paintball course
July 13, 2012
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The speedball paintball course at Outdoor Recreation is constantly evolving.
The 85-foot-by-125-foot course, which was introduced last October, has evolved into a speedball/tactical course with the recent addition of three inflatable castle obstacles.
"We're always tweaking it and making it a little better -- improving aspects here and there," said Travis Engle, recreation specialist, Outdoor Recreation. "We've got these new wall pieces in here that really add to the different angles and different playability of the field."
The course features three castle pieces, six speedball inflatable obstacles and a plywood board at the back of each side.
While the course is used for unit functions and paintball parties, it's primarily used for Warrior Adventure Quest, Engle said.
First Lt. Kirk Olson, platoon leader, Troop C, 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, took his platoon to the course for Warrior Adventure Quest.
"It's designed for Soldiers when they get back from deployment to de-stress and have fun," he said. "Most of these guys didn't deploy -- they're brand new. What I think it did for us is bring us close together. Some of these guys were on rear (detachment) and some of them were deployed. A lot of them don't know each other and are new to the Army, so this is a fun way for us to come out here and just come together as a platoon and have a higher morale."
Olson said he noticed cohesiveness between the Soldiers after each round of paintball.
"I see guys high fiving each other and saying all kinds of things and having a good time out here, and it's better than just the daily grind of doing maintenance, doing some training and going out in the field, so it's good from that perspective," he said.
With the mix of obstacles, the Soldiers had several different strategies, Olson said.
"Some guys like to just stay back behind the plywood and just shoot from afar, whereas other guys like to move up and get a little bit closer to get different angles on the course," he said. "My personal strategy: I like to go into the little blowup castle here on the left and shoot across to the right because you can see guys from there. The very last game I played, I ended up just staying in the very back and as guys ran from the plywood to different pieces of cover, I just shot them as they were moving there. That way, I could see the whole field and just move my fires to where I knew guys were at instead of just trying to shoot one individual."
The platoon stayed at the paintball course for bonus rounds after their planned double-elimination tournament finished.
"This course is a stress reliever," said Spc. Michael Davis, team leader, Trp. C, 4th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt. "It's just good for all of us to be able to get out here and have a little fun besides all the training we've been getting in to. You can actually put some of our training into the course, bounded movements and stuff like that, overwatch."
Olson said his platoon is eager to make a return trip to the course.
"Guys have already came up to me today and said we need to do this more, and I want to do it more because I love paintball," he said. "It's a good thing, and if we can get more of it and make it a bigger part because it's good training. It's force on force instead of somebody just running around as a simulated enemy or with simulated ammunition. There's actual things flying at you that can hit you and hurt you a little bit, so there's a little added stress that's more realistic."
When Outdoor Recreation moves in October, Engle said he hopes to have separate speedball and tactical courses.
"We're kind of a newborn when it comes to the paintball sport, but we're learning year-in and year-out," Engle said.
For more information, visit www.rileymwr.com/odr or call Outdoor Recreation at 785-239-2363.