MARFORPAC Marines face fears at Outdoor Adventure Center[MIGRATE]

By Lance Cpl. Ethan Hoaldridge | February 28, 2006


(Photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Hoaldridge)

(Photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Hoaldridge)

(Photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Hoaldridge)

Marines from Marine Corps Forces, Pacific rolled down to the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Outdoor Adventure Center at Barber’s Point to face fears and meet challenges on an obstacle course, Feb. 28.

“Our facility here is specifically designed to challenge people, so we can bring out their weaknesses and strengths,” said Dino Scheidt, the program manager. “After we present the obstacle course and the objective, that’s when you begin to see the real leaders step out.”

The Alpine Tower, a 56-foot high climbing tower, was the most challenging of four different events in which the Marines participated.

After the Marines did team-building exercises at the tower’s base, they moved on to use its swinging logs, rope ladders and rock climbing grips to make it to the pinnacle.

“That was definitely the highest I’d been, and it felt good to conquer my fears and make it to the top,” said Cpl. Kecia Estep, a MARFORPAC band member. “The Marines definitely worked well together.”

The next event was the rope course which challenged the Marines’ problem-solving skills and cooperation with each other.

Designated Marines carried a seven-foot long tube full of water across a balance beam with an obstacle to climb over in the middle. They were not allowed to spill any water or verbally communicate with each other; only the other teammates could speak and coach.

“I invited Marines from other units as well, so they could pass the word about training like this,” said Cota. “This is the type of training more Marines should have the opportunity to participate in.”

Then they moved on to a hoist which lifted the Marines about 50 feet into the air to be released into a fast-falling swing.

Throughout the day, Marines built up team-leading skills and unit cohesion.

“I wanted these Marines to have some fun and increase camaraderie in the unit," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Jay M. Cota, the MARFORPAC G-1, administration section staff non-commissioned officer in charge. "That’s exactly what we did today.”