Paradise in a Battlefield - LSA Anaconda Outdoor Pool Opens with a Splash

13th COSCOM PAO

LSA ANACONDA, BALAD, Iraq — Six Soldiers dove into the newly refurbished outdoor swimming pool here Saturday as leaders from around the post cut a ribbon signifying the opening of the latest LSA Anaconda Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility.

Brig. Gen. James Chambers delivered the opening remarks and said that it is the American nature to always improve things, adding that the 13th COSCOM is going to leave LSA Anaconda better then they found it. He said, "LSA Anaconda is a paradise within a battlefield."

The outdoor pool is a 50-meter, Olympic-quality pool. It has seven lanes, a 10-meter diving platform, a three-meter springboard and holds 800,000 gallons of water. It is a deck-level pool, which makes for fast race times. The deck slopes to the water surface and is the same type of pool that Olympic athletes train and compete in.

Gerald Warner, the KBR project manager who oversaw construction and refurbishment of the facility, first saw the pool last year as a horrible hole in the ground. He is proud to have played a part in bringing it back to life.

"I think its great," said Staff Sgt. Adam Preston, a Soldier assigned to the 407th Quartermaster Detachment. "I helped to purify the water for the pool and it was worth every second we worked overtime to get it ready."

"It makes it better to be here at LSA Anaconda," added Spec. Timothy Key, from the 226th Medical Logistics Battalion.

The outdoor pool is the latest MWR facility to open at Anaconda and joins the indoor pool, movie theater, outdoor track, MWR tent and post gymnasium as the centerpiece of leisure for not only LSA Anaconda, but for all of Iraq.