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Monday, February 17, 2014

Key West…The Army Connection


Feb. 17, 2014

Key West is loaded with military branches. The Navy, Coast Guard, Naval Air Force and also the Army. What does the Army do in the Keys? The unit is called “1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne)” and according to the Naval Air Station “Flyer” news paper the unit was recently recognized by U.S. Army Operations Command for training 256 Special Forces, Ranger, Air Force, Marine Corps and Allied soldiers‘ students, who conducted more than 3,848 military dives, five static line airbCustoms and Border Protections...(4) 350hp outboard motorsorne operations, five helocasting operations and 15 military freefall operations. Go Army!

All of these operations are within site of our Coast Guard RV Campground. I have witnessed the static line drop from a C130 aircraft and the helocasting from a Coast Guard version of the Army Blackhawk helicopter. Unfortunately,no camera in hand when jumping out of the C-130. The helicopter operation was at night and very little illumination involved, hence no pictures. 

Last evening, we were in the truck with all of my camera equipment and it was just about sunset. I said it would be nice to drive over onto the Coast Guard pier and shoot a few sunset pictures. I headed over to dock area when a uniforLowering of the Colors!med Coast Guard lady put up her hands in ordered for me to stop. Another Coast Guardsman told me they were ready to lower the colors. For you who don’t know what this is… it is when the flag is lowered at sunset (a serious and formal time of day). I got out of my truck and stood at attention and saluted when the flag was being lowered. Thank God for this great country! Oh, no sunset pictures tonight. The flag goes down when the sun hits the horizon. This also applies to all ships. I did get a picture of this the night before on the same dock.

The same night that we were on the dock, we also observed, sort of a strange behavior, at least to us. There are always people fishing at the end of the dock. Also, we noticed a few Pelicans close by watching the fishermen and women. What really surprised us was to see the Pelicans dive after the fish on the hooks. Yes, a battle between bird and man. Now think about this, the Pelican tries to swallow the fish and remember there is a hook coming out of the fish’s mouth. Yes, the fisherman is now angling for a fish an a bird. The bird finally freed himself and the fish was landed.

I noticed on one Pelican a fairly large lure suck into his neck. I don’t know how recently the lure got stuck, but it didn’t seem to phase himThe Pelican and the lure a bit. What could one do after all? You can’t get close to the Pelican…he flies off when you get ten feet from him. The birds will come close to the bait box and if you don’t watch them the bait will disappear quickly. That is the extent of my fishing story for this blog.

The temperature has been cool the last few days. In the lower sixties with a wind. We actually had to wear long pants in the morning. I can only imagine how extremely cold it was in New England.

That is what we saw and did!


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