Past meets present on 2009 Transcontinental Motor Convoy
June 15, 2009
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Local residents had the opportunity to travel back in time today as a remake of the original 1919 Military convoy stopped here en route from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, Calif.
The original convoy traveled across America to assess the wear and tear on military vehicles, as well as, how the existing road conditions affected the military. Much has changed in the last 90 years. The original convoy took 62 days to cross the United States. This year's trip is expected to take only 26 days.
This year the convoy is directed by Terry Shelsworth of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA). The planned route will take the convoy over a route very similar to the original route. Overall, almost 200 vehicles are planned to take part in the event.
Letterkenny Army Depot provides a real opportunity to see the changes that have taken place since 1919. The depot provided three humvee variants that have become the work horse of today's Army. An Avenger humvee gave a glimpse into front line air defense with it's Stinger Mounted turret, a SOCOM Ground Mobility Vehicle displayed the modified version currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a regular version of the regular humvee currently being rebuilt at the depot was also on display.
In addition, the depot displayed a new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle. The MRAP is currently deployed in combat zones to safely transport and protect troops in harms way. Depending on the configuration, the vehicle can obtain a gross vehicle weight in excess of 75,000 pounds.
The vehicles and many of the memories associated with the history of military vehicles were on display at Norlo Park, just three miles east of Chambersburg on Route 30 in Fayetteville, Pa.