FORT IRWIN • The Warrior Zone, a soldiers-only state-of-the art recreation center, will open Wednesday at the National Training Center and Fort Irwin.
Equipped with Xbox gaming stations, several high-definition TVs, computers and a home theater with 24 leather recliners and a 120-inch projector screen, the center is designed for soldiers as an on-post getaway from their barracks.
"I will more than likely be there just about every day," Specialist Terrance Clark said.
Clark has been stationed at Fort Irwin as a mechanic since 2011 and is the President of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program.
"For the soldiers it's a lot for them to actually go out and do anything," he said. "They have to drive at least an hour to get to Barstow or Victorville and Apple Valley. So instead they can stay here on post and go to the rec center and have a good time."
According to a report from the U.S. Army, Warrior Zones have already opened at bases in Europe, Alaska, Fort Lewis, Kan., and Fort Riley, Kan.
"It's standing-room-only some nights, they're really packed with soldiers, so you can see there was a need for it," Kris D'Alessandro, director of Morale Welfare and Recreation at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., said in the article.
D'Alessandro helped develop the concept for the high-tech centers while working at Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation headquarters.
"The main focus is all the technology. The concept is for the gaming to be the main purpose," D'Alessandro said.
The Warrior Zone at Fort Irwin will also have a Mexican Restaurant called Habenero. The restaurant will be open to the public but the gaming systems and computers will be strictly for the use of soldiers.