Normal Folks Drafted Into War Games In Team Building Lesson - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/10/05-Sherman, TX

Normal Folks Drafted Into War Games In Team Building Lesson

Normal folks show up to work in the morning, and in just an hour, they're behind the wheel of a 55- ton battle tank. It's an extreme environment with a simple mission: teamwork.

A group from Nokia's office in Irving is loaded onto a bus. About an hour later, they've pulled off I-35 and get their first taste of what's to come.

"Y'all are entering into my world now. I'm Sgt.Godsey," says their first "drill instructor."

They have no idea what's in store. From their jobs at Nokia to tank commander or navigator, or tank driver, At Tactical Tanks, David Estes is in charge. His code name is "Black 6." His job is to help them form their team.

"The military has boot camp that lasts a certain amount of weeks or months. We have about seven hours," he says.

After their safety drill, it's in the driver's seat for their first mission. It may be cold and muddy in the middle of winter, but it's the noise that the folks from Nokia have to deal with. That's because they're trying to build their corporate teamwork when they can hardly hear themselves think.

They start with just a driving test and the first casualty was a busted oil pan on our tank.

Tank commander Jim Gomes: "It gives us a chance to work together outside of a normal office environment, and I think it's going to bring out the best and worst in all of us."

Driver "Sandman" thinks it's a great exercise in cooperation and camaraderie: "Good communication. That's the first part of any teamwork. I feel that the communication the commander, navigator, and myself was very good."

Next drill: searching for land mines. Finally, they have to find a downed pilot. With just a little information, their wits, and their team, they're set on their mission.

Estes: "Because it's total immersion in this environment, we are able to control every facet of this place of learning."

"Sandman:" "It's great driving a 20-ton armored vehicle. It's my first time and it was exhilarating. It was just fantastic."

This idea for corporate team building is new, and despite the mud, the cold, and the noise, these new soldiers say they're ready to tackle any battle back at the office.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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