Fort Drum soldiers adapt their training in COVID-19 world

WWNY Fort Drum soldiers adapt their training in COVID-19 world

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Fort Drum is getting back at it - slowly starting up training while adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Fort Drum's Monti Physical Fitness Center, they're using equipment spaced 10 to 15 feet apart.

That's one way soldiers in the Unbreakable Warrior Program are working to recover from injury.

"The purpose of the program is to prevent de-conditioning of soldiers that have been wounded or injured during Army training," said 1st Lt. Logan Hunt, 431 Infantry Battalion.

The use of the turf field and other hard to sanitize equipment are still off limits.

In a COVID-19 environment, only certain machines can be used.

"Rowers, bikes, ellipticals, treadmills. Items like that so soldiers can still execute cardio based training," said Hunt.

Some troops in the program say they're relieved to have it back.

"I just got my cast off like last week. And I can already see a little bit of improvement when it comes to the strength in my hand," said Spc. Devonne Turner-Schaefer, 210 Brigade Support Battalion.

Soldiers are given three of the placards when they come in for their Unbreakable Warrior time slot. When they're done working out, they'll hang them up on the machines that they've used so staff know what to sanitize.

Soldiers say staff are quick to sanitize machines when someone is finished.

Rounds are also ringing out again at the Ollis Weapon Training Center as soldiers worked on firearm qualifications.

The center is limiting troops inside and staff regularly sanitize equipment and surfaces.

"Ensuring that we keep soldiers from getting infected, making sure they're healthy is obviously critical. Soldiers are our most valuable resource. But, this kind of training is invaluable," said Cpt. Riley Foster, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade.

Fort Drum is changing how training is done so soldiers can stay ready during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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