By Staff Sgt. Josiah Pugh, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard is receiving a host of upgrades to its facilities during the months of July and August thanks to the LANG Foundation.
The LANG Foundation assists the LANG’s guardsmen, veterans and their families through various financial initiatives and grants. Facilities across Louisiana placed requests to the foundation for their desired equipment and once approved, the equipment was ordered and shipped.
The Camp Minden morale, welfare and recreation building is receiving TVs, video game consoles and video games, as well as other games such as air hockey, billiards, table tennis and foosball. Each year, the camp sees between 1,200 – 1,400 soldiers train there, with not much to do once troops are off duty.
“There is no place here, other than the gym, for soldiers to just go relax,” said Lt. Col. Harry Wilson, Camp Minden commander. “This is a huge value. It will give soldiers some down time away from their annual training projects or all-hazards missions, and it will be centrally located and within walking distance from the barracks.”
Camp Beauregard is receiving an entirely new set of gym equipment such as free weights, kettlebells, exercise machines, treadmills, stationary bicycles, weight racks and more. The gym equipment will be installed in the Dabadie Gym, and the older post gym will be closed.
“They’re going to have a lot more room to train,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Timothy Pearson, post sergeant major for Camp Beauregard. “This facility is five to six times bigger than our existing facility. We have more equipment, we have more weights, we now have a basketball court, we have a spin room, and we’d like to make one of the rooms a yoga room. Also, with the new Army Combat Fitness Test coming up, we made sure we got the equipment soldiers will need so they can train properly.”
Two armories have received large high-volume, low-speed fans that will help to cool down their drill halls during warm weather. Twelve more armories are scheduled to have the fans installed later this year.
Additional equipment is scheduled to be installed at the Camp Minden MWR building before its opening in August. The Dabadie Gym is scheduled to open this August.