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AIRBORNE AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS MUSEUM


 
 

The Airborne and Special Operations Museum is located at 100 Bragg Boulevard in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free. The following information is copied from the museum brochures. The exhibits depict the organizations and operations of U. S. Airborne and special operations units from World War II to the present. In addition to a huge permanent exhibition hall the museum has special exhibition gallery, a Motion Simulator and the Yarborough -Bank Theater. The main gallery has displays on the history of U. S. parachute, gliders, and Special Operations forces since 1940. In addition to the U.S. Army units there are also the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) units, Rangers, and other Special Operations such as the Jedburghs. The motion simulator provides the operator with a dramatic ride that simulates such experiences and free-falls from 10,000 feet, ski patrols, and low level aircraft flight. The theater shows airborne and special operations training on a huge screen . The museum has an excellent web site at http://www.asomf.org

 
 

The following photos were taken during a recent visit to the huge museum. But they show only a small part of the exhibits.

 
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This monumental entrance is apropriate for the massive museum inside

 
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The entrance hall - atrium in the Museum of Airborne and Special Operations Forces

 
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Paratrooper at the center of the entrance hall

 
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Sign over the museum information desk in the entrance hall

 
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Display honoring Vietnam Veterans at the entrance to the exhibit halls.

 
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One of many signs describing the operation in Somalia (also termed "Battle of Mogadishu") in which two helicopters were shot down and many US soldiers killed - This is a special exhibit first on the right as one enters the exhibition.

 
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"A nation in Chaos' another sign about the operation in Somalia (Battle of Magadishu)

 
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"Clans, warlords and terrorists" the exhibition about Somalia continues

 
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Wall display of items related to the Somalia operation

 
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Wall display of standard small arms used by terrorists.

 
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Manikin in setting of Somali terrorist with weapons stock

 
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Manikin in setting of Somali terrorist with weapons stock

 
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Sign on wall describing some of the events during the battle

 
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Task Force Ranger - wall sign

 
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Wall display cabinet with typical small arms used by Rangers

 
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Wall map of Mogadishu showing locations of some critical events in the battle

 
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A section of one of the downed helicopters recovered later from Mogadishu

 
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A section of one of the downed helicopters recovered later from Mogadishu

 
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Wall display case with some personal items of Rangers.

 
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A wall sign - one of several - with a time line of events during the battle

 
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Wall display about the battle

 
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Display case with items of Ranger gear

 
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General view of wall displays of Ranger clothing and equipment

 
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Manikins of Rangers in combat in Mogadishu

 
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A captured 'technical' a pick up truck with automatic weapons mounted in the bed. This one shows results of being under fire

 
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A captured 'technical' a pick up truck with automatic weapons mounted in the bed. This one shows results of being under fire

 
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Manikins of Rangers in combat and caring for wounded comrade, one of the helicopter pilots.

 
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Another wall display with part of the time line for the battle.

 
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Entering the main display halls with the opening of the chronological section - Bragg as 'boom town' when airborne operations were being developed

 
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Boom Town - Fort Bragg during World War II with map and photos of barracks.

 
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Large photos along wall depicting evolution of airborne soldier uniforms and equipment

 
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Manikin wearing early version of parachute equipment

 
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The airborne development began with the 'test platoon' in 1940 and developed into airborne operations by 1944.

 
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Manikin in display of the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion in early development

 
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Wall display case for 'test platoon' uniforms and equipment

 
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Sign on wall urging comparison between men in combat and those civilians supplying the war effort

 
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Wall display "Architects of the Legend" with photos of some of the early American advocates and developers of airborne policy. Of course the Russians and Germans had been conducting large scale airborne operations for decades already.

 
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Manikin soldier in a WWII Jeep

 
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Wall world map depicting widespread locations of airborne and special operations during World War II

 
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Manikin in World War II airborne uniform with parachute and carrying case for equipment

 
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North Africa - Operation Torch - first U. S. Army airborne assault

 
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Interesting large photo of parachute soldiers inside a troop transport aircraft.

 
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View of gallery with displays of early airborne operations in World War II

 
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Wall display of Rangers and Paratroopers in North Africa

 
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Wall display case with artifacts from airborne operations in North Africa

 
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Wall display for Operation Husky - Airborne landing in Sicily

 
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From Salerno to Anzio in Italy 1943

 
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Manikin in uniform worn in Italy in 1943

 
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Gallery for special operations in France

 
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Cut away C-47 fuselage

 
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Wall graphic 'Unied we will win' United we are strong -showing flags of allies on cannon barrels.

 
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Large diorama of special force soldier meeting French resistance fighters

 
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Wall sign and photos about special forces operations in Europe - Jedburghs - who met French resistance as in adjacent diorama

 
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Wall case showing Jedburgh operations in France weapons and clothing

 
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Overhead - a C-47 aircraft - the leading troop carrier

 
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Overhead a view of the C-47 aircraft from a different angle.

 
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Road traffic and direction sign in Normandy showing among others the way to Cherbourg

 
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Wall sign describing Normandy Invasion

 
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Wall display for Operation Neptune - Normandy landing

 
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Wall display for 82nd Airborne Division objective at St. Mere Eglise - the same operation that is shown with paratrooper landing on church over at the 82nd Airborne Division museum.

 
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Wall display for 82nd Airborne Division objective at St. Mere Eglise - This is first French town liberated.

 
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Manikin of soldier carrying full equipment and weapons

 
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Wall display - Raners lead the way - Rangers at Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach during Normandy invasion

 
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Wall display for the 82nd Airborne crossing the Merderet River at La Fiere on D+3

 
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Manikins of soldiers searching in a town

 
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Flash photo of Manikins of soldiers searching in a town

 
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Larger view of soldiers in display of searching a town.

 
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Wall case display - Screaming Eagles assault Fortress Europe - the 101st Airborne enters battle

 
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Wall case of 101st Division in Normandy from Utah Beach to Carentan

 
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Manikin of soldier and bushes to show fighting in the hedgerows.

 
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Wall display for Operation Dragoon

 
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Wall display case for airborne participation in the invasion of Southern France - showing uniforms and articles

 
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Wall display case for Operation Market Garden

 
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Wall case - scene shifts to Pacific and Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

 
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Wall display case - Counter attack in the Pacific - operations in New Guinea and Philippines - 1943-45

 
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Wall display case - Return to Corregidor Feb 1845

 
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Manikin of soldier in Pacific theater

 
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Manikin of soldier in Pacific theater

 
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Back to Europe - Wall display case for "Battle of the Bulge" in Ardennes - December 1944-Jan 1945

 
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Wall display case - Airborne in Ardennes - uniforms, weapons

 
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Manikin of soldier in Pacific

 
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Manikins in diorams depicting the American commander's reply to German demand for surrender at Bastogne.

 
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Diorama of a jeep being driven out of a glider

 
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Manikin of paratrooper in full combat gear

 
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Wall display showing how to assemble a CG-4A glider

 
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Full view of the diorama showing the jeep being driven out of a glider

 
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Wall display case - Pathfinders leading the way - showing the special radio equipment they use to guide airborne to landing - also a Thompson sub machine gun

 
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Wall display case - "These guys don't get paid enough" - and indeed, considering the casualties in glider landing, they did not. The case has uniform and other gear - the glider element was a lesser known component of the airborne division then.

 
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Wall sign for Airborne Engineers

 
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Airborne bulldozer in diorama

 
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Wall display about airborne artillery in World War II

 
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Diorama of airborne solder and airborne 105mm howitzer

 
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Wall display about the CG-4a WACO glider

 
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Diorama of glider with two soldiers from different angle

 
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Sign describing Corporal Rudy Hernandez "Here I come" on Hill 420 - the scene in diorama in next photos - in Korean war. He received the Medal of Honor for his action described here.

 
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Diorama of airborne soldier (Corporal Hernandez) bayoneting Korean in battle during Korean war

 
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Diorama of airborne soldier (Corporal Hernandez) bayoneting Korean in battle during Korean war

 
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Wall display case describing Ranger Special Operations in Korea

 
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Wall display case describing Ranger Guerrilla Command - White Tigers - actions in Korea

 
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Wall sign discussing Ranger operations in Korea

 
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Wall display - the Rakkasans in Korea -Airborne assault

 
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Wall display case 187th Airborne actions in Korea

 
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Wall display case on Developing and unconventional war capability

 
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A 105mm howitzer packed on platform for airdrop

 
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Rear view of the 105mm howitzer rigged for drop

 
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Wall sign describing the 105mm howitzer rigged for heavy drop - a Revolution in air delivery

 
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Wall display for Special Forces "A" detachment

 
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Manikin in uniform of a Special Forces master sergeant

 
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Wall display describing the establishing of US Army Special Forces - with photos

 
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Wall display explaining support of civil authorities in period of domestic 'unrest'.

 
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Wall display for Operation Powerpack in Dominican Republic 1965-66

 
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Wall display titled Who will liberate the Third World - 1954-1975

 
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Diorama with Special Forces soldiers doing a medievac with wounded troops on ground

 
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Diorama with Special Forces soldiers doing a medievac with wounded troops on ground

 
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Diorama with Special Forces soldiers doing a medievac with wounded troops on ground

 
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Wall display describing heroic actions -Courage and Compassion - of Special Fifth Class Lawrence Joel and Chaplain Charles Watters who both received the Congressional Medal of Honor for different operations in VietNam

 
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Diorama of soldiers dismounting from helicopter

 
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Wall sign describing airborne operations in VietNam - units of the 82nd and 101st Divisions and the 173rd Brigade

 
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Wall display for 173rd Airborne Brigade (the Herd) in Vietnam

 
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Display of weapons of the173rd Airborne Brigade and a VietCong prisoner cage in background

 
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Wall displays for Long Range Reconnaissance patrols, LLRP, and Civil Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) - both Special Forces units

 
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Display cabinet with Special Force weapons and uniforms

 
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Diorama - Viet Cong prison cage

 
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Wall display - Special Forces in South East Asia 1961-75

 
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Wall display - Winning Hearts and Minds - Psychological operations in Vietnam

 
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Diorama with manikins - Angels in Red Hats - MACV Team 162 - 1955-73

 
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Wall display Ranger advisers in Vietnam - From the Delta to I Corps

 
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Wall Display - ARSOF at the Crossroads - Rebuilding Army Special Forces

 
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Wall Display - A World Unraveling 1973-1982 - An Era of Global Unrest

 
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Wall Display - M551 Sheridan Tank - Airborne Armor

 
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Diorama - Sheridan tank

 
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Diorama Sheridan Tank

 
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Diorama Sheridan Tank

 
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Wall Display - Battle of Pacora River Bridge in Panama - 7th Special Forces Group

 
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Diorama of Special Forces in Desert at a team calling for Close Air Support - Iraq and Afghanistan

 
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Diorama of Special Forces in Desert at a team calling for Close Air Support - Iraq and Afghanistan

 
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Wall display - Close air support - The Ultimate Force Multiplier

 
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Diorama - Special Forces in a 'spider hole'

 
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Diorama - Special Forces searching a village

 
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Diorama - Special Forces searching a village

 
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Diorama - Special Forces searching a village

 
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Overhead - MH-6 Helicopter

 
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Diorama - searching a village

 
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Diorama - searching a village

 
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Wall display - Night Stalkers to the Rescue - Operation Just Cause in Panama - 6 Minutes to Freedom

 
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Wall display - Operation Just Cause `989-90 - Panama

 
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Diorama - vehicle with radio antenna

 
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Different view of vehicle with high radio antenna

 
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Special Forces searching village

 
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Diorama with Special soldier providing medical assistance to local

 
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Diorama of Special Forces soldier in convesation with local leaders.

 
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Diorama of Special Forces soldier in convesation with local leaders.

 
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Wall display - Psychological Operations - ARSOF Force multiplier

 
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Driver and vehicle bringing ammunition

 
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Wall display - Combat Service and Signal support - Keeping ARSOF connected, refuled, fed - subject of previous photos

 
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Wall Display - Transporting ARSOF - multiple means

 
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Special Forces vehicle with multiple weapons

 
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Different view of Special Forces vehicle used in Iraq

 
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Wall Display- ARSOF in Iraq - victory no north and West

 
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Photo of a Video screen that shows a running series of pictures of operations in Iraq - this of an Iraqi monument gate

 
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Photo of a Video screen that shows a running series of pictures of operations in Iraq -this of Special forces troops with a captured Iraqi rocket

 
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Wall Display showing Special Forces training course

 
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Diorama with manikins - a Special Forces soldier in training in conversation with a local who is playing a foreign national in some location - but it is in the woods at Ft Bragg.

 
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Wall display a sign about Special Forces - "Masters of Chaos" in many foreign locations

 
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View of the sales store at the museum - it has many military related items for sale.

 
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Statue of "Iron Mike'

 
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Statue of "Iron Mike'

 
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Statue of "Iron Mike'

 
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Inscription of base - General Henry Hugh Shelton - among other major assignments the commander of Special Operations forces

 
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Statue of General Shelton in the plaza in front of the museum

 
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Inscription on base listing qualifications and awards

 
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Inscription on base of statue listing General Shelton's major assignments

 

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