CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Feb. 10, 2021) – A new recreation room featuring billiards, table tennis, darts and even classic arcade cabinets was officially opened to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 5 at Sagami General Depot.
Dubbed the “Gauntlet Room,” the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation-run facility also includes an air hockey table and a lounge area with leather couches and TVs, and is free to use for Soldiers, family members and community members with Department of Defense ID cards.
The Gauntlet Room is located next to the Depot’s Sagami Lounge. Leadership from the installation’s 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, for whom the facility is named, and the Sagami Lounge business manager cut the ribbon in front of a small crowd of 38th ADA Soldiers and visitors.
Manager Scotty Reed said the space was originally home to Sagami Bowl, a bowling center that had been there since opening after World War II. But the machinery had begun to not work properly in recent years, so Reed went to Soldiers from the 38th ADA—the only brigade currently headquartered in Sagami Depot—and asked them what kind of new facility they’d like to have there.
“This was our opportunity to utilize the space for [something] the Soldiers wanted,” Reed said.
Reed spoke after the ribbon-cutting, saying he looks forward to the Gauntlet Room attracting many visitors to enjoy its many recreational amenities.
“I hope to see not only the Soldiers, but also community members, visit … and enjoy themselves,” Reed said.
Sagami Depot is located about a 40-minute drive from Camp Zama and Sagamihara Family Housing Area, the two installations where Soldiers assigned to the 38th ADA and their families live. For those who commute to and from the Depot every day for work, having a recreation facility nearby is beneficial, said Capt. Ashley Patrick.
“It is great for the Soldiers to have a place like the Gauntlet Room right next to the chow hall to relax and have fun at before PT hours, during our lunch break, and after work hours,” Patrick said. “Since we spend a lot time out here, [it’s] a morale booster for the Soldiers.”
First Sgt. Joey Salas, assigned to the 38th ADA, said the Gauntlet Room was something he and the Soldiers in his unit had been looking forward to, and was “a long time coming.”
“Everything in here was all solicited ideas from the Soldiers themselves,” Salas said. “The primary purpose of this facility is to give [them] the means to decompress and to have a little fun outside of the work area.”
Salas said he predicts many of the Soldiers in his unit will use the facility regularly, particularly during their lunch break.
“It’s definitely truly an honor for this room to be named after our brigade—our Soldiers, most importantly,” Salas said. “It’s going to be our legacy for all the future ‘Pacific Guardians’ who come and use this room.”
The facility is open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.