Aberdeen Proving Ground is inviting its Harford, Cecil and Baltimore County neighbors to join in the 2009 Armed Forces Day celebration, beginning with opening ceremonies on Fanshaw Field, 9 a.m., Saturday, May 16.

Maj. Gen. Paul S. Izzo, commander of APG and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command will welcome the community and remark on the installation's commitment to bring back community involvement, according to John Kearney, Garrison director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

"This is an effort to get back to the old spirit of doing things," Kearney said. "Come visit with us so we can showcase what our armed forces are doing today and honor those who have come before us and those who lost their lives defending this country."

The event is free and open to the public. A valid driver's license or photo ID is required for entry to the installation. Kearney said that all five lanes at the Route 715 Gate will be open specifically for this day, with one lane designated for visitors.

Highlights of the opening ceremonies will include an air show and flyover of rotary wing aircraft from the Maryland Army National Guard and Air National Guard, a re-signing of the Army Family Covenant and a Pageant of Army uniforms by the Noncommissioned Officer Academy to honor 2009 being named the Year of the NCO by the Department of the Army.

In addition, RDECOM's U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center will present Future Soldier 2030, a technology demonstration of the potentially futuristic Soldier and equipment.

Musical guests for the opening ceremonies will be the Chapel Hill Sensations, a group of about 40 5th graders from Chapel Hill Elementary School in Perry Hall who will sing patriotic songs. The group has appeared at Ripken Stadium and on Channel 13 WJZ's Manic Monday with Marty Bass.
Starting off the day will be the annual Armed Forces Day 10K Run, which starts 7:30 a.m. at the Aberdeen Area Athletic Center, building 3300. (See below for more on the run.)

"The AFD celebration promises to be one of the largest in years with the installation's test and development and science and technology missions, featuring some of the latest innovations in Warfighter technology, figuring prominently into the festivities," Kearney said.

Displays and exhibits of modern-day and futuristic military vehicles, equipment, weapons and technology, will include a thermal weapons sight demonstration in a night visions trailer presented by the U.S. Army Communications - Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, and an AN/PSS-14 Mine Detecting Set demonstration by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronic Command, LCMC.

Visitors will be able to get up close and personal with military vehicles like the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, the high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle, a Stryker vehicle and a Buffalo Surrogate Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle.


Other displays include Combat Feeding, Army Robotics and a demonstration of the America's Army Training Game.

Family entertainment

Families can spend the rest of the day enjoying the entertainment options provided by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. They include a bounce house, a climbing wall, face painting, balloon art and other entertainment, including the Really Strange Museum.

The Army Substance Abuse Program will feature a drunken driving simulator and drunk goggle challenge. Food and beverage vendors also will be on hand. The band "Release" will provide additional musical support.
Other participating organizations include the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, the U.S. Army's Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine,the Aberdeen Test Center and Ordnance schools.

Check the APG News for updates on planned displays and activities.

AFD 10K Run
Charm City Run of Bel Air will sponsor the 10K (6.2 miles) run 7:30 a.m., starting at the Aberdeen Athletic Center, building 3330. The race is hosted by FMWR and is open to the public, military or civilian. Entry forms can be found on the Charm City Run Web site, http://www.charmcityrun.com. Non-military ID holders should pre-register on the Charm City Run Web site. A photo ID is required for entry to the installation.

The AFD 10K Run fee is $25 through May 1, $30 through May 15 and $35 race day. There is a $5 discount for active duty military and privates (E-1) through private first class (E-3) are free. Military grades E-1 through E-3 may register with their unit.

Runners will receive an Armed Forces Day 10K Run T-shirt, and water will be provided on the course and at the end of the run.

The race is expected to end by 9:a.m. Award presentations will follow at 9:15 a.m.
Military runners should contact their unit first sergeant.

For more information about the run, contact Ralph Cuomo, APG Sports director, 410-278-3868 or e-mail ralph.cuomo@conus.army.mil.

Page last updated Wed April 29th, 2009 at 12:42