Course readies Soldiers for vital recovery mission





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Published on Jul 24, 2012

(Natural Sound)

"Every one, every combatant, every Soldier, every team out there will in some case need to recover a piece of equipment due to fail of maintenance or due to the luck of the enemy being able to engage our equipment." - Sgt. Maj. Sultan Muhammad, Army Ordnance School command Sgt. Maj.

It is that need which is being taught to Soldiers at Fort Lee's new recovery training course, Downer Range. The facility trains Soldiers on how to recover large pieces of combat equipment that, if left on the side of the road, could be used for other purposes.

"You don't want to leave it because the enemy could probably recuperate it and use it against us." - Sgt. Maj. Sultan Muhammad, Army Ordnance School command Sgt. Maj.

Nearly 500 Soldiers go through the course per year, learning tactics and techniques to go out and get damaged or broken down combat equipment -- to not only ensure it doesn't end up in enemy hands, but to also save tax payers money.

"The tax payer paid a lot of money for that piece of equipment and we don't want to leave a piece of equipment out there that could be recovered and put back into the fight, we don't want to leave it out there that is a waste of tax payer money." - Sgt. Maj. Sultan Muhammad, Army Ordnance School command Sgt. Maj.

Before the U.S Army Corps of Engineers built Downer Range, Soldiers were taught at two locations, Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and Fort Knox in Kentucky.

The courses were combined and moved here as a result of the BRAC 2005 decision.
We are able to replicate the same exact training here at Fort Lee that we had at Aberdeen and at Fort Knox.

"This is a great facility, state-of-the-art , the range is actually bigger than we had at Aberdeen, over 200 acres here so we have a lot more flexibility on the pits that we can dig, and the driving experience we can give these Soldiers." - Gary Winter, Fort Lee Recovery Range division chief

Flexibility to give realistic and complex recovery training to new Soldiers that will be called upon to get vehicles in some of the toughest terrain in the world.

"The skills that we teach here are critical in that our Soldiers can go out there recover a vehicle, bring it back to the rear where it can be repaired and then be put back into the fight." - Gary Winter, Fort Lee Recovery Range division chief From Fort Lee Va., Patrick Bloodgood.


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