Monday, January 14, 2008

3rd BCT Soldiers Take a Swing at New Driving Range

Capt. Jeremy Brown, from Vincent, Ohio, commander of Headquarters Company, 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, takes out a set of golf clubs donated by golf pros from the Professional Golfer’s Association at the opening of the Hammer Links driving range at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq, Jan.12.

1st Sgt. Rene Gonzalez, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first sergeant of Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, lines up his shot at the Hammer Links driving range at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq, Jan.12.

By Spc. Ben Hutto
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Two dozen Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team endured cold weather to take a few swings at the Hammer Links driving range which opened at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Jan. 12.

Maj. Mark Andres, from Chicago, aide for the deputy commanding general of Multi-National Corps - Iraq, was on hand to see the 3rd BCT Soldiers take turns hitting golf balls down range.

Andres used his contacts back in Chicago to secure clubs and golf balls for the range. He explained to Soldiers that his friends in Chicago enlisted help from golf professionals of the Professional Golfers Association to get the necessary equipment to make the range a reality.

“The Villages (a large retirement community in central Florida) was responsible for sending a majority of the balls here,” Andres said. “They are very excited that this equipment is going out to Soldiers on the battlefield.”

While many Soldiers crushed their drives deep down the range, several Soldiers were taking their first swings with a golf club. Regardless of skill level, everyone at the range’s opening had a good time.

“I hope this range and equipment gives you guys at least a few moments of relaxation,” Andres said.

Capt. Andrew Henning, from Huntington, N.Y., commander of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion’s Headquarters Troop, thought that the range was a great idea for Soldiers at FOB Hammer.

“Any improvement made for the Soldiers’ morale, especially sporting activities, is great for them,” Henning said.

The 3rd BSTB is assigned to the 3rd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March, 2007.

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