ANSBACH, Germany (September 22, 2023) -- In an inspiring demonstration of international partnership and community engagement, the U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach Directorate of Public Works (DPW) team accomplished a remarkable feat on short notice: the creation of a robust mud-filled obstacle course on Urlas Kaserne designed to strengthen relationships between garrison personnel and the local host nation community.
Garrison Commander Col. Aaron Dixon set a simple yet challenging tasker: build an event that opens doors for collaboration with the local German community. Quickly, the brainstorming began between the teams from the DPW and Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (FMWR) departments. They envisioned a versatile obstacle course that could challenge both military and civilian participants while being feasible enough for the Ansbach team to construct.
In the world of construction, every project is a testament to the skill and dedication of the team and the leadership behind them. Project lead Markus Rose envisioned an obstacle course with the spirit of overcoming challenges and pushing oneself to the limits.
Rose's hobbies include motocross racing, including the design and construction of race courses. Honing in on that experience, Rose enthusiastically designed the Ansbogger course to maximize the terrain on Urlas Kaserne as well as available materials to build a five-kilometer track with more than 20 obstacles.
This enthusiasm was expertly captured by the DPW Roads and Grounds crew. While the crew's primary duty is to ensure the maintenance of the Garrison, they often face unique challenges that require creative problem-solving, including the creation of the muddy Ansbogger.
The construction of the obstacle course became a unique training opportunity that allowed the shops to explore additional capabilities of their equipment. Each team member contributed to the course by identifying routes and creating unique obstacles for race participants. The team's exceptional work in creating a course based on a few concept ideas is truly inspiring.
On a perfect, sunny race day, the event drew more than 130 participants from the surrounding communities including service members and their families, local running clubs, and representatives from local fire departments. With smiles on every face and mud on every shirt, the runners took on one obstacle at a time while family, friends, and volunteers cheered on the sidelines. Members of the Roads and Grounds crew watched on with glee as they witnessed their creations in action. Murmuring between themselves about how they could change the course and improve obstacles for next year, the team basked in the satisfaction of a job well done.
DPW's achievement in creating the Ansbogger course demonstrates the Army's commitment to building relationships between the host nation and military communities. And they achieved just that - receiving accolades from both U.S. and host nation personnel on unique obstacles and the fantastic camaraderie. Multiple participants stated that the course was one of the best they had experienced, and they would definitely participate in future runs held by the garrison. You can’t ask for a higher compliment than that from your host nation neighbors!
The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Today, Ansbach is home to 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community's largest tenant unit, as well as the 7th Engineer Brigade, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 8,500 Soldiers, civilians, and family members working and living in the Ansbach area.
For more news from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, visit: https://www.army.mil/FranconianNews or https://www.facebook.com/usagansbachcommunity/