TOUR AMERICA 2019: FLORIDA PANHANDLE

Home Is Where We Park It:  Blackwater River State Park

Date:  May 5, 2019

Air Force Armament Museum At Eglin Air Force Base – Inside Exhibits

What a beautiful morning to wake up to.  True, with the storm that blew in yesterday the day started out a bit cooler, if you can call temperatures around 68 degrees cool! But look

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what a beautiful sky.  This was shaping up to be another fabulous day.  The question now was, What to do?  We’ll flip a coin.  Heads ,we stay put.  Tails, we head out to Milton and discover what it had to offer.  It had to be tails, no matter what, because it was just too nice to stay inside.  Off we went and what we discovered we’ll share in just a bit.

Time now to finish up our visit to the Air Force Armament Museum At Eglin Air Force Base.  Today we’re going inside.  Guess who is waiting for me already?  Wave Hi to 

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Barbara who was patiently waiting for me to finish up my outside tour.  I’m coming Sweetheart!

Let’s go inside and discover what is waiting for us.  Again as I said yesterday  I can only present but a small fraction of what is here.  There is just so much to see that it cannot be contained in one blog.  Hopefully, what you see will peak your curiosity enough to motivate you to go and see for yourself.  It will be well worth your time.

Immediately inside the door we discover this massive wall plaque which pays homage to all who have, and will continue to contribute to the development of armaments necessary to insure the freedom of our country.

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Moving down the hallway we learn a bit about the development of Eglin Air Force Base and its current mission today.  There is also a 30 minute film which runs continuously throughout the day which presents the history of Eglin Air Force Base.img_1521.jpg

The next display is an overview of the 96th Test Wing which is currently stationed at Eglin.

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The 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, Command and Control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The wing provides expert evaluation and validation of the performance of systems throughout the design, development, acquisition, and sustainment process to ensure the warfighter has technologically superior, reliable, maintainable, sustainable and safe systems. .  As Eglin’s host wing, they lead more than 9,800 military, civilian, and contractor personnel providing essential base operating support and services for nine wings and wing equivalents, 10 operating locations, five detachments and 34 associate units. The wing executes an annual budget of more than $568 million.

The 96th Test Wing is organized into a number of  distinct groups.

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They also manage the Air Force’s largest fire program, emergency services, explosive ordnance disposal squadron, and supply function.  The wing is also home to the Air Force’s third largest hospital, which services more than 92,000 beneficiaries and operates the Air Force’s only invisible wounds clinic. It is also home to the Air Force’s largest transportation function in the continental U.S.

In addition the 96th manages the Eglin Range Complex.

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Let’s move into the main display hall.  At the far end and dominating the entire wall is our country’s flag.

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Here are a couple of pictures of the first floor main display hall.

 

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Dominating the first floor is the F-105 Thunderchief.  It was the mainstay of the Air Force’s fighter bomber force deployed to Vietnam.  It flew more missions against North Vietnam than any other aircraft.

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It was armed with a 20 mm cannon

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and carried a payload of more than 12,000 pounds of ordinance – bombs, rockets, missiles, and napalm

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Moving on, the first floor also has a display of smart bombs along with the history of their development.  The GBU-28 also known as a Bunker Buster is the most interesting of them all.

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Here is a bit more about the Bunker Buster, with special comments that obviously were never delivered.

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On the first floor we also discover a replica of

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The first floor is not all bombs and plans and weapons.  I discovered this mural tucked inside the first floor theater.

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There is also a full section devoted to Desert Storm.

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Now for a quick overview of the second floor. There are displays starting with WW I up to and including the Vietnam War.

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On the second floor I also discovered a section devoted to

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The second floor also had

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Time now to say our farewell to the Museum.  Trust me when I say I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of all that is there to discover.  Make yourself a promise to someday go and discover it for yourself.  You will not regret it.

Now about our trip to Milton.  We discovered two things today.  First,

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This is the remnants of an old brick road that was once Florida State Road 1. The old road can be seen running from the Blackwater River in Milton to five miles further east. It runs next to US Hwy 90.

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We also discovered a – ready for this – a turtle.  But not just any turtle.   Take a look.

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You’ll find this turtle in Veterans Park. It has an American flag on its shell as well as the logos of our various military branches.

That was our day on The Road of Retirement.  We managed as we always do to find a little something to do.  It made for a wonderful and delightful day.    Thanks again for coming along with us.  We enjoyed your company and hope you will join us again tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Graybeard and it’s occupants, four paws and two humans.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before

See you on down the road

 

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