MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Crossfire paintball, the indoor paintball range here, officially closed its doors Nov. 6.
The paintball range closed due to construction and the building’s pending demolition.
“It’s a really old facility and it’s time has come to go,” said Tasha Friedell, outdoor recreation manager. “Unfortunately, paintball is saying goodbye with the building for now.”
Paintball has been available on station for Marines to enjoy for many years from physical training unit functions to tournaments between friends.
“I think it’s a great outlet for Marines to go and do something more in their interests,” said Friedell. “With paintball you get to hang out with your friends and do more Marine-like stuff. It passes the time and it’s something different. There aren’t a lot of paintball ranges accessible in the states, but here it was right on base.”
Crossfire Paintball re-opened Dec. 26, 2009 in the old bowling alley facility after transitioning from an outdoor range to indoor.
“We used to have an outdoor paintball center, but because of all the construction going on we lost the field,” said Alma Dickenson, Semper Fit Health Promotions director. “We asked the station for some possible locations and they came up with the old bowling center. It’s an old facility and even when we put paintball in there it was on the demolition list.”
The building is scheduled to be torn down in December.
“I didn’t know that it was closing and I don’t agree,” said Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Valencia, a Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron packing specialist. “I think it benefits the station. It was cool, fun and a simulation of shooting against each other. There’s not a lot of stuff like that to do on base. It was something interesting and fun to do.”
A new site for paintball has not been announced and there are no current plans in the works.
“Paintball is not going to be aboard station again anytime in the near future,” said Dickenson. “There’s no suitable location yet to be found especially with all the construction. (Marine Corps Community Services) was happy we had it and we’re sorry to lose it, but we’ll keep our eyes open and keep requesting space.”
With all the coming construction, station residents can only wait for the new opportunities and activities in store.