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A shooter takes cover at the Bamberg, Germany, paint ball course on Thursday.

A shooter takes cover at the Bamberg, Germany, paint ball course on Thursday. (Rick Emert / S&S)

A shooter takes cover at the Bamberg, Germany, paint ball course on Thursday.

A shooter takes cover at the Bamberg, Germany, paint ball course on Thursday. (Rick Emert / S&S)

Sgt. Shawn Dismuke leaves the battlefield with a paint-splattered face Thursday in Bamberg, Germany. Although participants are required to wear protective masks, pellets that strike the mask send paint spraying through the mask's ventilation slots.

Sgt. Shawn Dismuke leaves the battlefield with a paint-splattered face Thursday in Bamberg, Germany. Although participants are required to wear protective masks, pellets that strike the mask send paint spraying through the mask's ventilation slots. (Rick Emert / S&S)

BAMBERG, Germany — For a little more than $20 each, up to 10 members of military units or office staffs or even groups of friends can square off at Warner Barracks to shoot each other — with paint balls.

The new paint ball course is also open to ID cardholders from surrounding military communities, said Brad Cline, chief of the Community Activities Center.

Currently, the course has been reserved mostly by military units who hit it on Thursday mornings as an unusual form of sergeant’s time training.

“It’s a break from the hard-core stuff we normally do,” said Sgt. 1st Class Walter Latham, 701st Maintenance Support Team in Bamberg. His team painted up the course Thursday.

It is not, however, a break from training.

“We learn things like squad leader tactics and team-building,” said Staff Sgt. Chad Devorak, also from the 701st. “This is a fun way to see how the soldiers perform with weapons, and the paint balls obviously don’t hurt as much as real rounds.”

They do sting, however, said Michelle McGaughey, who provides the safety briefings at the course.

“On hot days like this, it doesn’t hurt too much, because the [pellet’s] cellulose cover is soft,” she said. “But in colder weather, it can really smart.”

McGaughey’s safety briefing covers issues such as: the range of where the participants can fire, how to load and prepare the weapon for firing, clearing the weapon when leaving the field and basic site safety rules.

Staff members stay on site throughout the use of the course to ensure safety measures are met, Cline said.

Each team gets 250 green or orange paint balls. The price also includes a safety mask, the weapon and two gas tanks for the weapon, Cline said.

Although the course is in an open field, man-made obstacles — such as tires, piles of hay and small shacks — provide cover for shooters.

Aside from unit reservations, an open challenge is held once a month. The next open challenge is Sept. 13.

“Not too many people know we have this paint ball course here,” Cline said. “It’s a great way for people to get out and work together as a team or just blow off some steam.”

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