WASHINGTON (Sept. 20, 2013) -- Soldiers from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington participated in a three-day training event on how to properly set up MDW's Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH), at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Sept. 17 -- 19.

The DRASH is a tent system that integrates shelter, mobility, lighting, heating, cooling and energy efficient power into one comprehensive package that MDW will use during its annual Army Ten-Miler race as an operations center. MDW's shelter provides 442 square feet and on race day, the DRASH system will be set up in one of the Pentagon's parking lots helping to ensure the safety, security and management of the overall event.

This year's Army Ten-Miler is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, which attracts 35,000 military and civilian runners from around the world. It is the third largest 10-mile race in the world and all proceeds benefit Soldier and Soldier family Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs.

"The Army Ten-Miler is an enormous event where it is imperative for us to have our DRASH system set up prior to the beginning of the race," said Sgt. Maj. Richard E. Worthy, JFHQ-NCR/MDW G3 operations sergeant major. "The operations center will have the assets to visually see the entire route and enable us to react in case of an emergency."

MDW G3 sets up the DRASH, projectors, tables and lap tops in a dry-run at least a month before the Army Ten-Miler to verify that everything runs smoothly with the system during race day. MDW also brought in a DRASH representative to show the Soldiers how to properly set up the shelter in a limited amount of time for emergency situations.

"Army Ten-Miler will be our cap-stone event, but what we are also preparing for the current season," said Worthy. "It's important for our Soldiers to know how to properly put up these shelters if there were ever a natural disaster in the National Capital Region."

"If this shelter is assembled correctly, it can withstand some pretty strong winds," said Willie Craig, DRASH representative. "The Marine Mammal Stranded Center in Atlantic City, NJ set up a DRASH before Super Storm Sandy and it's still standing to this day."

For more than 25 years, DRASH systems have played an integral role in the establishment of rugged, user-friendly facilities for military personnel around the world.

"The DRASH system is great to have at the Army Ten-Miler, but is even better to have in case of an emergency in the NCR," said Worthy. "Once these Soldiers know how to properly set up these shelters, they can use what they've learned here at MDW, and take it with them to their next unit."