JOINT BASE CAPE COD, Mass.
- The Massachusetts National Guard opened its gates to the
public this weekend with its fourth annual Open House at Camp Edwards on Joint Base Cape Cod.
The weekend featured military encampments by historical re-enactors, military vehicle displays, battle reenactments, demonstrations of military skills and tactics, and other activities.
The re-enactors depicted a timeline of history stretching from the early colonies up through World War Two. Groups portraying Pre-Colonial militia, Revolutionary War militia, Civil War Soldiers, and American, British, German and Russian troops from World War II were present.
A World War II battle re-enactment was held on Saturday afternoon, with the Allies defending their area against a German attack. The battle opened with the Russians pitted against the Germans, who were saved by the timely arrival of British and American Forces.
The displays and most of the demonstrations were held at the Sgt. Michael J. Kelley Tactical Training Base, which is a replica of a Forward Operating Base, similar to ones used in Iraq and Afghanistan. TTB Kelley is used for emersion training for Soldiers before they are deployed to theatre.
Civilian agencies commissioned by the military to protect the environment on Joint Base Cape Cod, such as the Environmental and Readiness Center and the Impact Area Groundwater Study Program, were on hand to teach visitors about the rare plant and animal species found on the base and the programs to safeguard them. These programs, run by Camp Edwards’ professional team of Soldiers and civilians, ensure that environmental protection and high-quality military training are compatible and sustainable.
Units from the Massachusetts National Guard, both Army and Air, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force, as well as law enforcement agencies such as the Massachusetts State Police and the Barnstable County Sheriffs’ Department were present to show off their vehicles and equipment and demonstrate their skills in a number of events.
Army Guardsmen demonstrated the hand-to-hand combat techniques called combatives that is used by U.S. Soldiers today, other Soldiers rappelled from the top of a tall tower, and the state police had a K-9 unit show how police dogs are used by law enforcement.