Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Carson opens gates to the public

Visitors at the Fort Carson Open House check out an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter Saturday at Butts Army Airfield.

Visitors at the Fort Carson Open House check out an AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter Saturday at Butts Army Airfield.

by Rick Emert

Mountaineer staff

Normally imposing and lethal, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M-1A2 Abrams tank and AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter were among the biggest draws for children and adults at the Fort Carson Open House Saturday.

Fort Carson opened up to the public for the event, and community members from Colorado Springs and some future Soldiers from the Denver Recruiting Battalion braved chilly morning temperatures and the wind to attend.

Several weapons systems were on display at Butts Army Airfield for the event, and Soldiers were on hand to explain their capabilities.

“This is a good opportunity for civilians to come on post and see what we actually do,” said Sgt. Lesley Denny, 60th Ordnance Company, 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade. “They’ve been asking about the capabilities of the Palletized Load System. We let some of the kids go inside and look at it up close.”

Fort Carson Fire Department crews demonstrated how they react to emergency situations, and military police working dogs and their handlers showed how the dogs can sniff out explosives and subdue criminals.

World Class Athlete Program Soldiers demonstrated several sports, including fencing and boxing.

Family Readiness Groups sold food and refreshments at the event, and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation had several informational booths set up.

The Denver Recruiting Battalion set up a climbing wall and skills simulator, and the U.S. Air Force Academy ensemble band, Blue Steel, performed in the afternoon. The Kory Brunson Band from Denver also performed at the open house.

“This is amazing,” said Todd Zurcher from Colorado Springs, who was visiting Fort Carson for the first time. “I’m glad they opened it up to the public. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Apache. You hear about it all the time in the news and see it in movies.

I’m excited to see one up close.”

Zurcher said the presentations from the Soldiers running the displays were informative.

“They (Soldiers) have been very friendly and polite. Everything they say starts with ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am,'” he said.

Jared Majors is a future Soldier from Denver who enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program. He brought his wife, Brandy, and daughter, Renee, to the event.

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