Thursday, March 13, 2014

Military Intel

Odometer 37959
Trip Meter 24 mi (Honda CRV)

Thursday March 13, 2014

Jeff woke up early this morning, grabbed a cup of coffee, and warmed up the laptop computer at 6:50 AM to get ready for a morning of webinars.  E*Trade invited it's customers to Retirement Education Day, a day of web-based training on topics such as Essential Steps for Retirement Planning,  Investing for Retirement, E-Trade Tools, Transforming Social Security into a Winning Retirement Strategy, and my favorite- a keynote address by Jean Chatzky, American Financial Journalist for the Today Show.  I watched the first two webinars at "home" here in the Bus, however I was using some serious kb of data on our hot spot, so I transferred to the city library and their wifi for the last two presentations.  Some of the information could be thought of as a little too late for us- but I would say I learned a lot on how to proceed from here forward.

By 1PM it was all over and I was out of school and on "recess" for the rest of the day.

Was this our lucky day?  We wondered as we loaded into the car this afternoon heading back to Fort Huachuca (Wa-chu-ka).  We have now made three trips there to see the last, and possibly the most interesting of the 3 museum buildings, The US Army Military Intelligence Museum.
    East Gate Ft Huachuca

The first time we went the museum was closed because they were using it for a training venue that day.  The second time it was my fault, because I didn't look on-line to see what  days they were open and we went on a Monday- and they are closed Sunday and Monday.

    The Army Intelligence Museum is in this unassuming building on the base.

And today was lucky for us because the museum was OPEN!

   The Enigma Cipher

One of the first displays we saw as we came in the entrance was the Enigma Cypher.  That famous code machine that Germany used in WWII.  Unbeknownst to the Germans the British had cracked the code early in 1940 and the messages were being intercepted and decoded throughout the war.

    Early Drones on Display 

It is fitting that there would be drones on display here, because the base is home to 2nd Battalion, 13 Aviation Regiment formerly known as the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training Battallion.  The red drone on the floor stands is a SD-1 which could be fitted with a high resolution camera and is billed as the worlds first successful surveillance drone.  (circa 1958)

    Radio receiver hidden in a car mirror

Ha! caught the photographer taking this picture of a partially dissassembled car mirror, which housed a powerful two way radio that would be hard to triangulate because it was only used while the car was moving.

    An early version of the James Bond spy mobile

    A Stanley thermos with a secret compartment

We were surprised that the museum was not a lot larger, it is essentially 3 standard sized rooms.  There were displays of spy gagetry, several manikins dressed in period uniforms, and quite a few posters introducing spy masters and intelligence strategists and code-breakers of Army campaigns up through Desert Storm.  Small but interesting.

Jeff recognized the buildings at this end of the base as being quite similar to the barracks on Ft. Polk, Louisana where he spent some of his formative months back in 1972.  Most of this base has been modernized, but a substantial number of these WWII era buildings still exist in the oldest section of the fort where the museum is.

This was another day of dust storms and it made for a beautiful sunset tonight.  The forecast says the dust should settle out tonight, and tomorrow should be safe for humans to breathe again.  We have had a bit of virga rain- rain which dissipates in the upper atmosphere before it hits the ground.
Regardless, we have decided to head back to Tucson tomorrow to take in the Pima Air and Space Museum.  Last time we were at this museum in the '90s, we budgeted 2 hours and ended up spending all day!

Joan made a delicious dinner of curry chicken on rice and we settled in to watch our one channel of TV that we get with our on-board antenna up.  Ah, Life!

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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