MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Approximately 15 Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 7 are in the process of renovating the obstacle course near the East Gym aboard the Combat Center, Monday. Restoration of the course began two weeks ago. The course, which was built in the late 1950’s, is entirely made of wood and was in need of repair due to wear and tear.
“It’s extremely important just to keep everything up-to-date. You don’t want something being too flimsy or unsafe,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Burns, combat engineer, CLB-7. “Especially something like this, that Marines are going over and under multiple times, you don’t want anyone getting hurt. This renovation is really for safety and maintaining the Combat Center.”
The work on the course is projected to end in six weeks. The re-building of the course is part of an initiative to provide Marines with a functional training environment.
“This is important for Marines because this is one of the first things they did back in boot camp,” said Lance Cpl. Loreto T. Mendoza Jr., combat engineer, CLB-7. “You would have to do it as a test to see if you can qualify to do a lot of physical fitness that Marines do. It’s pretty much the basics of what we started off with.”
The base is also managing to preserve resources by having Marines reconstruct the course.
“It looks like we’re actually going to end up saving the government about $50,000 from not contracting this out,” Burns said. “Just by having the Marines doing the work, we’re saving the government a lot of money.”
The restoration of the course will provide an excellent training platform for the Marines who will utilize it, but also the Marines who are building it. That’s not to say the renovations have gone off without a hitch.
“We’ve had a couple of learning experiences. Just how to cut the logs, and how to use different types of equipment to get them to the correct dimensions,” Burns said. “A lot of these Marines haven’t been doing a lot of wood-working operations since we’ve been in Afghanistan.”
Now that the course is being renovated, it won’t present a hazard or hinder training.
“It’s for the Marine’s training,” Mendoza said. “They get to do extra physical training, they couldn’t do before because of how destroyed the course was. We’re just fixing it up, making it good again.”