War on Terrorism

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Arkansas Guardsmen set goals at Gitmo

By Spc. Tiffany Addair

JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

(12/18/09) - Airmen with the Base Emergency Engineer Force assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron recently finished installing new soccer goals inside the recreation yard of Camp 6. The 474th ECES supports Joint Task Force Guantanamo by maintaining the Expeditionary Legal Complex and Camp Justice facilities and infrastructure. They also support JTF engineers, helping to enhance detention facilities.

In an effort to make continual improvements to detention facilities until the last detainee leaves GTMO, a two-week construction project began with the assembly of two soccer goals at Camp Justice, which were transported to Camp 6’s recreation yard; where finishing touches were made.

Navy Lt. Todd N. Taylor, Camp 6 officer-in-charge, said improvements to the detention facilities are made continuously.

“While detainees are in our custody, we strive to enhance facilities in accordance with the safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees,” Taylor said.

Detainees receive recreation daily. During recreation they are offered a number of sports and games to play, but they occupy most of the time playing soccer.

“Every time they go to recreation they play soccer,” Taylor said. “Each block gets several hours of recreation, in the large recreation yards, and the majority of the time they spend playing soccer and utilizing the new goals,” said Taylor.

The construction of the goals provides detainees with a more competitive game of soccer than just kicking the ball around.

“The soccer goals are built to regulation,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bailey M. Coleman, a heavy equipment engineer with the 474th ECES from the Arkansas Air National Guard. “The goals are sturdy and permanent now. It makes for a more realistic game for the detainees.”

As part of the care and custody of detainees, there are programs available for detainees that provide intellectual stimulation and social recreation. The social program includes communal living, recreation and sports, communal meals and prayers, family phone calls and mail. Sports opportunities include soccer, volleyball, basketball, table-tennis, board games, foosball tables and aerobic exercise machines.

Until the last detainee leaves, GTMO will continue to operate as usual – enhancing detention facilities in order to improve the quality of life for detainees.

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