By Parker Rome, Fort Riley Public AffairsSeptember 9, 2011
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Fort Riley will be the center of attention for two programs on the small screen.
The Pentagon Channel visited Fort Riley Aug. 23 to 27 to film an episode of "FNG" focusing on the Warrior Zone, and an episode of "Tour of Duty," which will showcase the installation and surrounding communities.
FNG, which stands for "For New Guys" (or For New Girls), is a 30-minute program targeted to 18- to 25-year-old newly enlisted service members.
"The Warrior Zone is just a perfect opportunity," said Brigitte Lyles, the show's producer. "It totally fits the FNG profile as far as the gaming andthe pool tables. So we're going to look at many aspects of the Warrior Zone. We'll touch base into not only the fun side of the Warrior Zone, but also the benefits of Soldiers having a place to relax."
While Lyles said she did plenty of research on the facility before arriving on Fort Riley, she was still taken aback when she first saw it in person.
"I have never seen a facility like this for service members," she said. "I'm simply blown away. I wish I was here at Fort Riley to take advantage of this great opportunity; and just (from) the feedback that we've received from Soldiers, they're really benefiting from a rec center like this, and good for them. They finally have a hangout spot where they can just get together, relax and enjoy themselves."
The Pentagon Channel recorded footage of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, grand opening events and interviews with Soldiers, as well as the leadership behind the Warrior Zone.
The Warrior Zone, Lyles said, will offer a great benefit to the Fort Riley Soldiers who will take advantage of it.
"We live in stressful times, and (Soldiers) need a place to get away," she said. "Having this facility here, they can relax, they can have fun, they can be themselves, and they can just get away from it for just a little bit. It's not only beneficial to the Soldiers, but also their Families. You have to have a strong foundation. In order to just let yourself go, you've got to have fun time, you've got to work hard, and this Warrior Zone just totally balances it all out."
The Warrior Zone FNG episode is scheduled to premiere this fall.
While in the area, The Pentagon Channel also collected footage for Tour of Duty, a 30-minute show that highlights a different military installation each episode.
"We are focusing not only on here at the Warrior Zone but also this beautiful base, Fort Riley," Lyles said. "So we'll take a deeper look into what's available here on base and also in the surrounding areas, so that service members that come to this area or are thinking about coming to Fort Riley will know all the benefits and everything that's available to them."
The crew was only in the area five days, so they had to make the most of it. Areas the Pentagon Channel visited for the show included Manhattan's Sunset Zoo, Milford Lake, the USO Center and the new Irwin Army Community Hospital construction site.
"There's a lot that we have to cover in such a short amount of time," Lyles said. "This place is huge and impressive and we're just continuing every day to learn a lot."
The Tour of Duty episode is currently set to air next year.
"There is a lot of research involved, and we definitely want to do it the right way -- the only way the Pentagon Channel knows how to do it -- and make sure we cover all of the grounds here," Lyles said.