At a time when national pride is the highest it’s been in nearly a decade and patriotism has moved back to the forefront of American consciousness, Dover International Speedway is bringing something special to the FanZone for its May 13-15, 2011 race weekend, as the USO is set to present the Military Expo Village, the largest military display to ever be featured at a NASCAR track.
The scale of the exhibit is only fitting for the Monster Mile, since Dover has long been a military town as home to the Dover Air Force Base —including the 436th Airlift Wing and 512th Airlift Wing that provide continued support to the ongoing military efforts in the Middle East. The Delaware National Guard also has a strong presence in the capital of the First State.
The base may be best known for having the largest military mortuary in the Department of Defense, which has been used for the processing of the dignified transfers of military personnel killed in both war and peacetime. In addition, DAFB processes a large volume of military cargo, and its workforce consists of approximately 6,400 military personnel, broken down into 3,900 active duty, 1,500 reservists and 1,000 civilians. It also supports approximately 5,100 military family members.
“With the capital of the First State being home to the Dover Air Force Base, which carries with it such a large military presence in the city, we’re excited to be bringing the largest military display ever to be featured at a NASCAR track to Dover International Speedway,” said Joan Cote, director of USO Delaware. “This display gives race fans the ability to learn all about the different branches of the armed services and how they carry out their day-to-day functions.
“We’re so thankful that Dover International Speedway continues to support our military heroes with wonderful add-ons to their race weekends like the Military Expo Village,” Cote added. “The efforts from those at the Monster Mile continue to positively highlight the service and sacrifices of those in the armed services.”
The USO village will feature more than a dozen visual and interactive displays, including a replica foxhole display that fully shows the living conditions for a soldier currently deployed overseas. The foxhole setup is designed with all the items a soldier would have to create their living quarters.
Other highlights of the expo include a mini C-17 Globemaster III from the 512th Airlift Wing that will give a scaled-down idea of one of the planes operated out of Dover Air Force Base; a number of military vehicles from the Delaware National Guard, such as a Phoenix satellite truck and a Hummer with a large weapon turret attached; two helicopters, including one celebrating the Centennial of Naval Aviation; and a climate-controlled museum with displays from the United States Marine Corps and the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The United States Coast Guard will display one of its communications vehicles used for natural disasters and homeland security matters, while the Seabees — the construction battalion of the United States Navy — will have a few of its own specialized vehicles on hand, including a tractor trailer, bulldozer and Humvee. Representatives from Dover’s own Air Mobility Command Museum are set to display an exhibit featuring a jet engine, and a Navy SEAL team mentor will be available to answer questions for those interested in the elite unit.
Dover International Speedway PR