National Guard Armory Holds Open House - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

National Guard Armory Holds Open House

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It's not often that the public can get close to high-tech military equipment. But, it is possible when the Cambridge Springs Armory of the Pennsylvania National Guard holds an open house.

"This is our way to connecting back to the community, letting the local community understand the capabilities of the National Guard and what it brings to Northwest PA.," said Major Robert Jorgensen, Battalion Commander.

The star of the show was the Stryker.   It's a multi-million dollar, high-tech, vehicle that can be used for a variety of purposes in the field.  One on display was equipped as an medical evacuation  vehicle. Another was a mortar carrier vehicle that Captain Paulo Sica says can "rain down thunder on the enemy." At the open house, you can climb inside.

"It's a really exceptional opportunity," said Sica.  "This stuff's under lock and key, needless to say.   It's very secure here at the armory, but it's important for the community to know how their tax dollars are being spent."

Members of the unit recently returned from three weeks of training in the State of Indiana.  The open house is also a way for them to reunite with their families and have some fun.

"It was a struggle.   And I think it's really nice that we can get together, come spend the day with him here, and get reacclimated," said Leslie Catania, of Fairview, whose fiance serves in the unit.

There were games and food, and fun things to do for the kids. Pre-schoolers could be seen shooting a round of blanks from an Army machine gun.

This year was only the second time an open house has been held at the armory.  Jorgensen says he wants to make it an annual event.


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