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Military merchandise on the meadow

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Soapweed

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Some of you may recall that last evening I mentioned that there were helicopters flying close to our ranch buildings. We watched them hover around, and then they went out of sight, though we could still hear them. Soon thereafter, our son returned from a ball game in Cody. He came excitedly up the steps and announced, "Do you know there are three big helicopters that have landed down in the meadow?"

It was real dark and foggy, but I told Brock, "Guess we have made peace with our Maker. Let's go see what's up." We jumped in his Blazer, and he let me drive. We drove up pretty close to the first helicopter, and a soldier wearing night goggles stopped us. Soon the commander, a Lieutenant Colonel, walked up out of the darkness to visit with us.

It seems that the foggy weather had the pilots worried about the high-dollar brand new Chinooks that they were in charge of. They had left Fort Campbell, Kentucky, earlier yesterday morning and had re-fueled in Topeka, Kansas. Their intended destination last night was Rapid City, where they had transportation and motel reservations. Originally there were four of the big Chinooks that landed on our meadow. The second one in line was instructed to again become airborne, and see if it could get through the poor visibility to the Martin, South Dakota, airport. It was too thick to set down in Martin, so the helicopter continued on to Rapid City, and wallowed through the fog to set down there.

The commander in charge came up to our house and used our telephone to get in touch with the Rapid City Airport. It was good news that the fourth helicopter had arrived safely there, but with the weather situation such as it was, the other 'copters felt it best to stay on the ground. The main reason for this was that they were brand new, and were not approved and certified to fly in such bad visibility. They are very capable of flying through the murk, but legally they were just not ready for the test. As the value of these big birds is between 80 and 85 MILLION dollars each, the risk was not worth it.

Eventual destination of these new Chinooks is in the Fort Lewis, Washington, area, where a new unit of these helicopters is being set up. There were 41 soldiers (none were females) traveling with the three helicopters that spent the night on our meadow. They all bedded down for the night in the copters, and made do with the supplies that were with them. Several cases of MRE's (meals ready to eat) kept them from getting hungry. Our contribution was several rolls of toilet paper, and a shovel for each helicopter. :? :wink:

With the value of these Chinooks calculated, when all four of them were landed on our meadow, there was a third of a billion dollars represented. Even after the one left, the other three added up to a quarter of a billion dollars. Payload on these big outfits was 26,000 pounds each. In other words, they could haul half of what a big semi-load of livestock would represent. The back door was big enough that several small cars could drive into the cargo area. It was all pretty impressive.

It was foggy until after ten o'clock this morning, but they were finally able to take off. Mrs. Soapweed, Brock and I went to Rapid City today, and as we went through Martin, we could see the big 'copters in the sky headed northwest. It didn't take long for them to pass us and disappear over the horizon. Anyway, this was the recent excitement for the Soapweed outfit, and at least the mystery from last night was solved. :)
 

Soapweed

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Here are pictures to commemorate the occasion:

OneofthreeChinookhelicopters.jpg

One of three Chinook helicopters that spent the night on our meadow
Chinooksandfogcanhappenatthesametim.jpg

Chinooks and fog can happen at the same time
Fearlessflightersinthefog.jpg

Fearless flighters in the fog
MunchingMREsinthemurkymorning.jpg

Munching MRE's in the murky morning
MunchingonMREs.jpg

Breakfast of champions
Prettybigoldwhirlybird.jpg

Pretty big old whirlybird
Restingafteraslightlysleeplessnight.jpg

Resting after a slightly sleepless night
SomeofthecrewCarolandBrock.jpg

Some of the crew, Mrs. Soapweed and Brock
ThreeChinooksandaSoapweed.jpg

Three Chinooks and a Soapweed
Coupleofthecrew.jpg

Couple of the crew
Bleary-eyedcrewmembers.jpg

Bleary-eyed crew members
Amilliondollarkidaquarterofabillion.jpg

A million dollar kid, a quarter of a billion dollars worth of helicopters, and a two hundred dollar car (maybe $250 if the gas tank is full :wink: :) )
 

Rowdy Ranch

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Thanks for the run down and photos-that was very interesting. Glad Carol did not have to feed all those guys!!
 

Soapweed

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I would like to put in a good word for the crew. They were highly competent, and very personable. They are proudly serving their country, and all have the best interests of their beloved country at heart. I was impressed with the fact that they were doing the wise and prudent thing, under the circumstances, and that their main concern was in protecting the high-dollar equipment with which they were entrusted.

They were all men to make any parent proud, and when Brock mentioned to them that he was thinking strongly of becoming an Army Ranger, they had nothing but encouragement for him to pursue this goal.

We feel very thankful that our fine nation has soldiers of this type guarding our freedoms. We should never take it for granted. We commend them with our greatest respect.
 

Turkey Track Bar

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Soapweed, Mrs. Soapweed, and Family:

You all experienced something the vast majority of us will never have the opportunity to experience, and thank you very much for sharing it with us on Ranchers.net. Very cool, and I bet you were happy to know why the choppers were hovering over your place.

That aside, how is Has Been doing? I haven't seen him posting, but I've been away from the computer quite a bit in the past month or so.

Thanks for having a safe place for our military to land, and God Bless our Troops, and God Bless America--

TTB
 

Jinglebob

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Are you sure them wasn't the "black helecopters" all these guys been talkin' about?! :shock: :lol:

Man, you had them right on your ranch! Maybe someone has been checking up on your NCBA/R-CALF affiliation! Better not graze any cattle there for a while! And all that other stuff them goofy, nervous, over reacting people say! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Mike

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I'm sure glad these boys didn't land at "rancher's" place! That would have been toooooooo funny!
 

Faster horses

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Awesome, Soapweed, and your story of what happened is what keeps us addicted to ranchers.net.

Where else would we have gotten that first-hand, complete with photos.

I bet they were just as happy that you were 'friendly folk.'

What an experience!!!!!!!!! :shock:
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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Yeap I agree, some really neat photos, and not only will soapweed and his family remember this, those fellas will remember soapweed and his family's hospitality. Thanks for sharin em Soapweed.

What I wanna know is....does that caddy have a set of longhorns mounted on the hood???
 

kolanuraven

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Kinda amazing that with all that "techno" stuff on the choppers that he had to use your land line phone to call. You'd thought they'd had a Sat phone or something of the sorts.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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kolanuraven said:
Kinda amazing that with all that "techno" stuff on the choppers that he had to use your land line phone to call. You'd thought they'd had a Sat phone or something of the sorts.



They probably need to use the Phone Book to look up the number. :cowboy:
 

hometowngurl

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the grass is always greener on the other side except when it is foggy. :D Well, them pictures are cool, and I am glad that I found them at last, hubby thinks they are neat too, but all that moolah could be used for ranching too, or maybe putting out them nasty fires that pop up once in awhile. :D :wink: :!:
 

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