Thursday morning we took the bus to Nellis AFB to see the Weapons School's outdoor museum of US and Soviet planes, tanks, and anti-aircraft guns. Inside a hangar were Soviet fighter planes and rifles. Then on to a nice lunch at the Officers Club. Great camradery in a relaxed environment.
After lunch, we went to the Thunderbirds museum...what a gem! Although the Thunderbirds have used a variety of planes over the years, they've been using F-16 models for 28 years. After a fine overview briefing, we adjourned to the museum and hangar, where planes were being refurbished, and to a video of Thunderbird maneuvers.
Back at the Weapons School, we received a briefing on Red Flag exercises, where new pilots get a dose of foreign tactics to toughen them for entering combat. A second briefing was on Green Flag, which is Air Force support for the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin near Barstow, CA.
Friday we took the bus to Hoover Dam, where we got a tour of the diversion tunnels and turbine room. Out on the observation deck, we could see the dam, the reservoir, and the new bridge to help divert traffic from crossing the dam. On the way back we ate lunch at the Green Valley Ranch's giant buffet...nice food! Then to the Atomic Testing Museum, where early nuclear experiments, atomic tests, and high speed photography of explosions was on display. In the evening, we were on our own and some took the opportunity to see the shows in town.
Saturday we were on our own for until the banquet at Lawry's restaurant (yes, the seasoned salt people). Huge pieces of delicious prime rib followed by cheesecake were the fare. Alan Frick announced that the 2012 reunion would be hosted by Vito Porpora in St. Petersburg, Florida. John Barry announced that the 2014 reunion would be held in the U.K. (skipping the crowds at the London Olympics in 2012).
Thus ended a highly successful reunion...thanks Al and Penny!