Dealing with the heat at Ft. Bliss

Fort Bliss: Heat training

EL PASO, Texas -      In this heat, there are lot of ways to try and keep cool, but not everyone can stay inside or limit their activities.

     For soldiers at Ft. Bliss, the heat is part of the job, and can actually play an important role in their training.

     Even with the Borderland hitting 107 today is just another work day on post. Soldiers were working and training as usual, because they could face worse conditions in combat wherever they may be deployed next.

     "You want to train as you're going to fight," said Lt. Col. Lee Peters. "Because you want to be acclimated the best you can to whatever environment you might go into."

     And for soldiers coming through Ft. Bliss, that has meant postings in Iraq and Afghanistan, with training meant to our our desert environment to simulate the conditions they could encounter over there.

     "We continue to train, to maintain our combat readiness" Peters said. "So we're able to deploy whenever and wherever we're called upon. We just have to be smart about how we train. The worst thing we want to do is have somebody be injured in a non-training event."

     Even in just performing the everyday duties of a military post, the heat and sun have to be kept in mind. Guidelines dictate how much work and rest can be done in certain conditions, with water intake a key factor to keep in mind to keep going.
     "It's the desert," said PFC Zachary Brooks. "You just try to hydrate as best you can."

     In keeping cool, you can't forget about limiting exposure to the sun.

     "We unblouse our boots," said Sgt. Sharita Gonzalez. "And we try not to take our tops off because we want to protect our skin."

     For some soldiers though, working and training there isn't all that bad.

     "I'm from Kentucky originally," said Brooks. "And the humidity - I'd rather be in this heat than in Kentucky, because there's no humidity here. I went back on leave and it was pretty bad. I was getting sick about every day, and I just had to keep on pouring down water."

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