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National Blue Beret

I attended the 1999 National Blue Beret, one of the National Cadet Special Activities.

NBB is held each summer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  It is an Air Force precautionary SAR mission that deals with overdue aircraft and ELTs associated with the annual EAA AirVenture airshow, held there each July/August.

It was extremely hot!
The activity is very well organized and everyone is busy all the time.
Everyone who attends, seniors and cadets, is in for a lot of hard work!
There are many  returning seniors and cadets who keep things on track from year to year.
Don't go if you don't like airplane noise!
Cadets must be 16 to attend. However I don't recommend this activity for smaller or less mature 16 year olds. It is ideal for 17 year olds and up, especially those who have achieved their ground team badge or solo wings already.

See also:

Maj Ted Lohr's National Blue Beret Page
National Blue Beret video on the National HQ web site

Pictures:


Delta Team. Delta was one of twelve cadet teams in 1999. Each team had 11 or 12 cadets plus a Tactical Officer.


Delta team eating lunch. One of the tough aspects of NBB that cadets and seniors alike have to endure is eating in record time and at odd hours.


9/12 of Delta Team plus their Tactical Officer. We are pictured here during a visit to Vette Seaplane Base on Lake Winnebago.  Note nine different shoulder patches! 


We got damp with spray while watching the takeoff of a mighty Albatross.


In the thick of things - marshalling hundreds of aircraft each day to their parking spaces.
Other pictures to come:
Learning how to marshal aircraft - cadets practice with golf carts for a few hours before the planes start to arrive
One afternoon the Mooney club flew in en masse. The NBB cadets marshaled over 100 Mooneys to parking in about 45 minutes. Wow!
During the week the new cadets who pass the training earn their berets.  Molding the new beret to your head involves getting it wet, then putting it on.
Airshows happen daily for about three hours each afternoon.
Many military aircraft are there and they do fly-bys
Experimental aircraft abound, and many exciting aircraft fly in and can be viewed on the West Ramp.
In 1999 we were visited by the Proteus high-altitude lingering aircraft.
In 2000, NASA's Boeing Super Guppy flew in

Click here to see the AirVenture web site.

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