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Sun Bowl teams get a look inside Fort Bliss training
By: Stacey Welsh
FORT BLISS, Texas -- The football teams from the University of California at Los Angeles and Virginia Tech had the chance to try out equipment soldiers use to prepare for combat. That includes shooting weapons and getting a tour of different military tanks and strikers.
"It can shoot out to 5,000 meters and penetrate pretty much any tank rolling around on the face of the earth," Staff Sgt. William Staneck said of the M1A2 V2, the military's main battle tank.
In addition to seeing the equipment, the teams got a sense of soldiers' responsibilities.
"We change out the track pads. We do services on the weapons. We make sure everything is working properly to tour it. We work hand in hand with our mechanics to make sure everything is running smoothly, so if we do get called and we do have to use them, they're ready to go," Sgt. Alex Taff said.
"My friends that I grew up with, they get in trouble a lot, or they're doing things and making decisions that they shouldn't be. They look up to me now, just because of the choices I made," Pvt. Daniel Castillo said.
The teams and KFOX14 also tried out simulators soldiers use to practice driving and shooting tanks and other equipment.
"They get to get hands on interaction with the vehicles, they get to meet soldiers and they get to see some of our simulators that allow soldiers to maintain their cutting edge skills," Lt. Col. Lee Peters said.
Peters is the public affairs officer for Ft. Bliss. He also said events like this promote the post's relationship with the community.
"We have what we like to call an easy access post. It's where you can basically go anywhere you want on post within certain limitations, of course, based on security measures," Peters said.
Ft. Bliss expects its next big public event to be Armed Forces Day in the spring.