Photos

 

National Guard Boss Lift

On Monday, August 3rd, 2009, the Army National Guard invited employers, managers and members of the media on a tour of Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. The day started with a helicopter ride from North Platte to Camp Guernsey and continued with tours of the training facilities and the shooting range. The military personnel offered tremendous hospitality and were more than helpful.

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    The CH-47 Chinnook Helicopter we rode in. Quite the experience. Turbulence in the copter is a lot more intense than turbulence in a jet plane.
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    On our way back to Camp Guernsey from the firing range, the pilot took us through the canyons carved by the North Platte River.
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    Approaching the chopper at the North Platte Airport was exciting.
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    Getting all settled in the monster helicopter.
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    Flying out of North Platte, the rear hatch was allowed to be lowered, giving us an incredible view.
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    This is Lake McConaughy.
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    More Lake McConaughy.
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    This is the screen of a training simulator. Soldiers take their positions in a virtual convoy and attempt to move the convoy through virtual cities fashioned after real cities. They are taught to communicate, follow directions and follow orders. The program is amazing.
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    According to a couple of the officers I talked to, automobile accidents are an increasing concern in combat areas. This is a rollover simulator. It teaches soldiers how to react in the event of a rollover accident. Each person in the automobile has a specific duty in the event of a rollover or crash.
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    The rollover simulator in action.
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    Lunch time, and MRE training. (Meal Ready-to-Eat). They have their own specific ways of going about opening, preparing and eating.
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    More MRE training.
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    My MRE, complete with M&M's and Tobasco Sauce. The meals aren't that bad at all. These are what soldiers eat in the field when a "hot" meal isn't available.
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    This is a disassembled .50 caliber gun. We got to shoot one later in the day.
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    This is a grenade launcher... Oddly pointed directly at me.
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    The grenade launcher.
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    This is a virtual shooting range. Soldiers are taught to handle weapons properly, take aim, and fire on moving targets. The software is top-of-the-line and quite impressive. The weapons are actual weapons that have been rebuilt to allow them to interact with the software. They are the same weight as a real weapon and have a similar "kick".
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    This is the .50 cal range.
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    A great shot of the bird.
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    More from the .50 cal range.
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    The bird. A CH-47 Chinook Helicopter.
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    The bird. A CH-47 Chinook Helicopter.
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    Prior to lift-off.
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    Josh Mackey and Orla Kitt (Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce) prior to lift-off.
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    Duplicate.
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    Inside the bird's belly.
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    Strapped in and ready to go (Josh Mackey with a 99.7 The Lake shirt).
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    Inside the bird's belly.
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    Looking out the rear hatch just before lift-off.
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    Looking out the rear hatch with the platform up.
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    Looking out the rear hatch with the platform down - much better!
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    Duplicate.
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    Lake McConaughy.
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    Lake Mac and Lake Ogallala.
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    Lake Mac.
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    Lake Mac.
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    Westside of Lake Mac, where water was non-existent for a handful of years prior to 2009.
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    Chimney Rock.
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    Josh Mackey geared up and ready to kill some old trucks and tractors that the soldiers use for target practice on the .50 cal range.
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    Josh Mackey holding is allotted .50 cal rounds.
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    Josh Mackey waiting for the green light.
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    Josh Mackey firing a .50 cal.
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    Still shooting.
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    Hey! Get this guy off that gun! His turn is over!!
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    Good pic of the employers and media invited to the incredible day.
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    Duplicate.
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    Employers, media and some of the great soldiers that helped out that day.
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    Duplicate.
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    Sunset on the way home.
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    North Platte River looking west near North Platte.
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    North Platte River looking west near North Platte.
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    North Platte River looking west near North Platte.
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    North Platte looking west near the North Platte Airport.
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    One last pic of the bird.