By Mark Thompson
As the Pentagon weighs cuts in danger pay for some of its troops around the world in order to save money, it’s also considering spending up to $100,000 to irrigate a pair of Italian softball fields.
Apparently, the two ball fields at Vincenza’s new $300 million Caserma Del Din, the home of much of the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, are suffering in the summer heat 45 miles west of Venice. That’s led the Army to seek to ring the fields with underground sprinklers. According to its contract solicitation, this will permit the “wetting of the dirt and grass softball field area, to maintain a lawn thick and healthy and to control dust in the dirt area.”
They appear to take their softball pretty seriously, according to the document’s digging guidelines:
– The contractor shall have particular care do not damage the grass area. The contractor will have to take care not to damage the existing turf. He will have to protect the turf by wooden planks to go through with excavation machines.
– The contractor shall have particular care to compact the back-filling soil of the trenches to prevent future settlements.
– The turf damaged area shall be restored with new turf rolls. The contractor will be responsible for the care of the grassland restored to the full taking root.
Once it does, it’s Play Ball! on an emerald-green diamonds, with little dust along the base paths.