Laser tag up and running

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Brianna Presley, daughter of Tech. Sgt. Sonya Foster, 354th Contracting Squadron, tests out new laser tag equipment with peers from Ben Eielson High School Oct. 27 at the base fitness center.

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Brianna Presley, daughter of Tech. Sgt. Sonya Foster, 354th Contracting Squadron, tests out new laser tag equipment with peers from Ben Eielson High School Oct. 27 at the base fitness center.

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- A new laser tag system, one of Eielson's latest quality of life projects is officially up and running at the fitness center.

More than $42,000 was spent by the 354th Fighter Wing to bring 16 machine pistols, two "Big Guns," two mines and ammo dumps, numerous inflatable blockades and computers to upload gaming information to determine team winners, said Tech. Sgt. Patrick McManus, 354th Services Squadron fitness operations section supervisor.

"We have also added a fog machine and are purchasing strobe lights to create a more chaotic environment to play in," he said.

The equipment uses infrared signals to upload gaming information from the guns into the computer system, which determines the winning team based on the statistics uploaded.

Infrared signal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye. The signal is emitted from the laser guns and then received by a patch on the player's vests. When the signal reaches the vest,it tells the computer that player has been hit.

On the evening of Oct. 27, 14 members of the youth center's Keystone Club were invited to the fitness center to test out the new equipment and have a little fun.

"The teenagers we had test the course really enjoyed the experience," said Sergeant McManus.

A veteran laser tag fanatic, Brianna Strothenke enthusiastically said, "Compared to other equipment I've used, it's a lot lighter and more realistic because you can change the ammo."

"I think this course is really fun; it's really similar to paintball and the set up is easy to maneuver," she said.

As to when squadrons or other groups can begin reserving spots to play or "open-play' " events will be scheduled, services is ironing out the details.

"We don't have a definite date yet to take reservations or have open play," said Sergeant McManus.

"As soon as the logistics have been worked out, future laser tag events will be thoroughly advertised through the many services marketing venues."