CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Although it is difficult to find ice in Kuwait, Minnesota National Guard soldiers carry on a tradition that began almost a year ago by their New England predecessors of the 197th Fires Brigade. On most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for anyone who is interested in the game. Soldiers can either watch or participate in games of floor hockey.
Sgt. Nikolaus Curley, Military Police, COR Technician, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 34th Infantry Division from Shakopee, Minn. is the organizer of floor hockey nights. Sgt. Curley started a Facebook group called Arifjan Floor Hockey which is primarily used to notify players of the play schedule. Members are also able to post photos and organize their teams for tournaments.
Although floor hockey nights are not a Morale, Welfare, and Recreation sponsored event, anyone on Camp Arifjan is welcome to attend. Several regular players are civilian contractors and many service members are from units other that the 34th Infantry Division.
The teams are not overly competitive and everyone involved plays for the fun and exercise. The two goal tenders select their teams, and players are able to rotate in and out of the game to get an equal amount of game and rest time.
Minnesota has always been a state that is well known for its love of hockey. The 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion 34th Infantry Division has had a special relationship with the Minnesota Wild NHL team since 2005 when the 1/34 BSTB deployed to Iraq for 16 months. Task Force Wild is the title used by the BSTB and that tradition has been carried on to the units’ current deployment as the Camp Command Cell in Zone 6 of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.