The Airborne And Special Operations Museum
Have you ever wondered what it was like for that first person to make the decision to jump from a moving airplane in order to serve his country? Well, now you may be able to learn the answer along with some other historically significant facts. Located in Fayetteville, the Airborne and Special Operations Museum is the only one of its kind.
The museum is committed to serving active duty soldiers and the general public through educational programming. With special focus on United States history, North Carolina history and core values education, the museum provides a forum for teachers and trainers to enhance their curriculum and bring students face to face with history.
A tour of the museum begins in its dramatic five-story open lobby area. The lobby exhibit features two fully deployed parachutes, a WWII era T-5 round chute and a modern MC-4 square chute. The round parachute represents the origins of airborne forces and the integration of airborne forces into conventional warfare. One of the walls in the lobby proudly displays the names of 73 individuals who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions while assigned to an airborne or special operations unit.
The main exhibit gallery moves the visitor through time, starting in 1940 with the conception of the U.S. Army Parachute Test Platoon. Visitors can read about the first American fighting man to leap from a moving aircraft and the following exciting development of full-scale airborne operations. The exhibit is complete with uniforms, gear and photographs.
Among two of the more modern displays is the 235-seat Yarborough-Bank Vistascope Theater, which provides the viewer with an opportunity to be in the center of the action. Filmed in Vistascope, a high-speed process that presents a huge, stunningly clear image, the movie is designed to put the viewer into the exciting military action and to show military operations in a way never before experienced by the public.
For an even more interactive experience, guests can participate in the Pitch, Roll, and Yaw Vista-Dome Motion Simulator, which adds another dimension by physically moving a specially designed seating area. The 24-seat simulator provides visitors with an extreme taste of what the Army's finest are trained to do.
The museum also features a Special Exhibits Gallery along with a 50-seat video theater that shows a changing collection of educational and entertaining works focusing on airborne and special operations.
Over the past several years, the museum has proven useful for soldiers to share their unique world with relatives and friends. In addition, area residents benefit from the museum as it focuses on a subject that has been a part of their lives for decades. The museum provides schools an interactive tool for teaching WWII history, North Carolina history and values education.
If you would like to learn more about the museum and hours of operation, visit www.asomf.org or watch the video.
added: December 30, 2008
updated: November 9, 2009
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