Public invited to Fort Hunter Liggett open house this Saturday
–Have you ever wanted to know what goes on behind the fence of a military installation? Fort Hunter Liggett is opening up its doors to the public on May 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the chance to talk to soldiers and Army civilians, fire an M4 at a virtual target in an Army weapons simulator, check out Army equipment and vehicles, see inside a barracks, watch soldiers demonstrate the latest physical fitness test, view historic buildings, learn how they support training and take care of the land and cultural resources, and much more.
The celebration falls on Armed Forces Day, and marks America’s preparation to enter World War II by establishing Hunter Liggett Military Reservation on Jan. 10, 1941. All events are free to the public and celebrate the installation’s 80 years of continuous service to the country.
Visitors will be greeted at the intersection of Jolon and Mission roads, and given passes, a map, and a schedule of events. Random security checks will occur throughout the day, and COVID-19 protocols will be in place, including wearing masks outdoors when near others. All visitors 18 and older need to provide valid identification for access. Visitors are asked to only go to areas identified on the map and not wander into residential or training areas.
The main event highlights are:
10:30 – Fly-in of Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber, WWII aircraft from Estrella Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles, at the Schoonover Airstrip on Mission Road
11:30 – Opening Ceremony with artillery salute by the 91st Training Division
11:45 – Future Joint Service Member Swearing-In Ceremony
On-going activities and attractions at the Hacienda/Tin Barn:
A guest speaker from the California Military History Museum will discuss the Central Coast military ramp-up for World War II (11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.). There will be displays from various installation directorates, community organizations, and military recruiters, along with videos of training activities and cultural/environmental stewardship at Fort Hunter Liggett. The Army will also have a mobile gaming center staged at this location.
On-going activities and attractions at Schoonover Airstrip:
- Estrella Warbirds Museum showcasing WWII aircraft Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber and vintage Army vehicles and radios. World War II re-enactors from the California Historical Group will be camped out in period uniform to answer questions about equipment and weapons of that era.
- Displays of current Army vehicles and equipment, and Soldiers to answer questions.
- Fly-in of a Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter
- A video of “The Future Behind Us” by Lt. Col. John Armstrong of the Army War College will be played throughout the day.
On-going activities and attractions at Track & Field and Sports Center:
- Demonstrations of the new Army Combat Fitness Test
- Lt. Chance, the narcotics/therapy German shepherd will give demonstrations with his handler Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joe Hall
- Sign up to shoot at virtual targets in the Weapons simulator, Building 299
- Tours inside modern Army barracks will be given (it’s not your granddaddy’s barracks!), Building 3030
- Tours of Lightfighter Chapel, Building 190
Commemorative souvenirs can be purchased at the Post Exchange, and food will be for sale at the PX and the Hacienda.