by Kerstin Lopez
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday at Pershing Field to commemorate the official opening of the Combatives Outdoor Physical Fitness Training Facility.
The training facility, referred to as “The Pit,” consists of a 2,500 square foot overhead shelter that protects Soldiers from the elements and a 1,000 square foot training area that is surfaced with rubber mulch. The overhead shelter is lit to allow training to be conducted during hours of limited visibility, said Sgt. 1st Class Vincent Miller, chief combatives instructor.
“The facility was constructed to enhance outdoor physical fitness and the combatives training program on Fort Carson,” Miller said.
The combatives instructor said the physical fitness training area is one of 12 PT areas that is currently being constructed postwide. Each area includes a rope climb, pull-up bars, sit-up bars, dip bars, a Crossfit area and a storage locker. The areas were designed based upon Soldier and leader feedback to improve the PT facilities on Fort Carson.
“This is one of 12 projects … out there actually making a difference … and I think it’s a great thing when (a) premier fighting force brigade combat team commander and his staff can come out and say ‘this has added something to my rucksack that’s going to help me perform my mission downrange,'” said Brig. Gen. James H. Doty, acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
The facility will be used by Mountain Post Soldiers who are required to complete Modern Army Combatives training, which is a fighting technique designed from combat experience and lessons learned in the field.
“Today’s warrior has to operate through a full spectrum of offensive, defensive, stability and support operations. This tactical range requires a fierceness to engage the enemy in close combat as well as the skills and confidence to control the situation with minimal force,” Miller said.
Col. John D. Keenan, deputy garrison commander, said the new facility cost nearly $160,000 and compliments the other outdoor PT pits across the installation.
“This is an example of a project where we, for a relatively low cost, are going to get a lot of bang for our buck for the training it provides for our Soldiers. The site will now provide a unique and needed facility for our Soldiers to hone their combatives skills,” Keenan said.
Miller said the facility’s rubberized floor is beneficial for training and allows Soldiers to safely practice more advanced moves.
“The rubber mulch is really a pretty important feature because it will significantly reduce the potential for injuries to our Soldiers that might otherwise become nondeployable or injured in a train up for their mission,” Keenan said.