Sunday, we all got up bright and early, 6 am, ate breakfast and drove down to Command Hill to wait for our ride. 17 people loaded onto the van and we were off. It took us about 2 hours to make the 50, or so, mile drive. The highlight of the drive...the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line...a bridge-tunnel across Tokyo Bay. Pretty cool! The tunnel part is 6 miles long! We also had a nice view of, the always-beautiful, Mt. Fuji.
We got to the base just as things were about to get going. We made a quick stop at our designated waiting room for a snack, drink and bathroom break.
|Our snacks and refreshments|
|Our hang-out room|
We made a short walk to the flight line and took our seats at the very front of the crowd.
First up: The Anniversary Ceremony. This started when several groups of men marched out onto the runway. They stood in formation while someone spoke a lot of Japanese for a long time. While they did that, we talked to the kids about what we saw on the flightline and made friends with the Japanese lady and her son, who we offered one of our four seats up front.
Once the base commander showed up and did his thing, they all marched back off the field and got into the nearby trucks.
Second: The Army Band performed several songs. I've included a link to a video of the band: http://youtu.be/J74h7q75a5Q
Third, these guys pushed this helicopter out in front of the crowd.
This is when the cheerleaders showed up...I know...cheerleaders??!! :)
|Performing "Hey Mickey" and then "Call Me Maybe" and another song I haven't heard of and finally, a Japanese Pop song.|
|Even the military guys joined in with green....|
|....just kidding! The wind kept blowing them down the runway and these poor guys chased them down.|
|As the cheerleaders ended, the helicopters started moving in from the distance|
|Accomplishing an air show underneath active commercial airport traffic must be fun!|
|Next the Drill Team came marching in.|
|After the Drill Team was the Training Demonstration. Cobras came flying in and then flying out, then they would come back in and fly around a bit before heading out again.|
And, another: http://youtu.be/S_X20gasglo
|Here comes the next helicopter. He dropped off the two guys below.|
|They moved to center field, then started signaling the other helicopters to move in.|
|This guy came in and picked up a jeep|
|Then, three helicopters came in and started shooting out of the side and back.|
|This one dropped a line and several guys came sliding down the rope|
|Once off the helicopter, they all took up positions around the field.|
|The jeep was brought forward and unloaded|
|Then, the Cobras gave chase for a bit|
|This helicopter unloaded motorcycles and a jeep|
|"Look Ma! No hands! While holding a rifle!"|
|This helicopter moved in, dropped a line, and then the guys all hooked themselves up|
|And, then they took off.|
After the Training Demo, we were lead back to our room for more lunch. We went into our room, made restroom visits, cooled off a bit, and then we were able to enjoy a Japanese Drum Performance.
Waiting for our turn to file in for lunch.
|The "after" shot...the top of the cask is caved in.|
|The lunch spread: fruit trays, sandwiches, meatballs, cheese, roast beef, scallops, shrimp, chicken, potato wedges, sushi, tea, orange juice, beer, coke|
|Soba. It was pretty tasty, but it was so hot in there that hot soup was a little hard to eat.|
|My plate. All yummy|
|Yes, this is Mackenzie's plate. We always come prepared with turkey sandwiches for her. She did taste the chicken and she had several chunks of pineapple and some potato wedges.|
|Meat and cheese tray. I had the scallops, shrimp, and a slice of roast beef.|
|Next up: HELICOPTER RIDE!!! Woo hoo!!|
|Headed to our chopper!|
|He's in and buckled!|
|So far, so good. She is looking around and looking out the window, calm as can be|
|Garytt looking out the window. He had a blast and walked all over the helicopter.|
|Looking out of the window|
|That is one of the digger things used in the construction of the bridge-tunnel|
|Our reflection in the side of the digger thing|
|Some of the snacks and drinks we got, we all got pins and sake boxes as well.|
|The kids were given gift bags with lots of candy|