News: Engineers build obstacle course on Camp Courtney
Story by Lance Cpl. Donald Peterson
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion have been constructing a new obstacle course since Jan. 28 at Camp Courtney to replace a course that had become unserviceable after years of use and exposure to the elements.
The course is slated to be completed end of March, with a dedication ceremony scheduled to follow.
“The camp commander requested to have a new obstacle course built on Camp Courtney,” said 1st Lt. Matthew C. Librizzi, a combat engineer officer with 9th ESB, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “So we stepped up. We believed it would be good training for the Marines, as well as beneficial for the camp.”
The construction of the obstacle course provided a challenge for the Marines.
“There are a lot of variables you have to take into consideration when building an obstacle course,” said Librizzi. “Each obstacle has to be a certain distance away from the others to be considered safe and usable by Marines. If these requirements are not met, the base safety office can deem it unsafe, and Marines will not be allowed to use it.”
The Marines spent a week preparing the site to ensure it was safe for construction and the eventual use of the course.
“We had to cut off the top of a hill, as well as remove part of a sidewalk, so we could grade the ground, and level it out for the course,” said Librizzi. “The course has to be level to ensure the safety of the Marines.”
A safe and properly constructed obstacle course provides the camp with a unique training area.
The obstacle course is designed to challenge and build cohesion among Marines, according to Cpl. Welid J. Said, a combat engineer with the battalion.
“We’ve had several Marines stop by and ask if we are building an obstacle course,” Said explained. “You could tell how excited they were. Little things like this really help boost the morale of Marines.”
The obstacle course also benefited the Marines constructing it, providing a chance to gain construction experience and refresh their skill-set.
“We’re getting time to use equipment that we don’t get to work with a lot, like chainsaws for log cutting, which is a good refresher for us,” Said continued.