There I found myself, in the jungle, in a situation I never thought I'd find myself in: Surrounded by signs of impending danger, sitting in control of a 17-ton tank and covered from head to toe in brown, gooey mud.
But it was by my own free will that I put myself in this situation at Tank America in Melbourne. Although it's not far from the family-friendly theme parks of Orlando, this experience appeals to a different kind of audience — you can probably leave the kids at home for this one.
BLUEFIELD, WVa.— A tank's mysterious transformation from olive drab to lemon-lime green was solved Wednesday when the sponsor of a Bluefield State College club came forward and said some paint that was ordered turned out to be the wrong color.
Local residents and officials were puzzled Tuesday when Bluefield Daily Telegraph photographer Eric DiNovo shot a picture of the tank parked near Bowen Field. DiNovo had noticed that the tank had been painted a bright lemon-lime color.
After a year and a half since the Army took delivery on the first of its souped-up new version of the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Pentagon's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio is ramping up to deliver the service's first full brigade of upgraded warhorses to bring the pain downrange.
Main entrance to Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. An M1A1 Abrams, the main product of the plant, sits on a display platform to the left of the entrance gates. To the right of the gates sits the "Department of Defense - Joint Systems Manufacturing Center" sign, visible in the background to the right of the picture. (Photo: Jade Phoenix Pence)
LIMA, Ohio — David Berger was sworn in as mayor of this one-time industrial boomtown on Dec. 5, 1989. A month later, he was hit with his first dose of bureaucratic reality.
It had been decades since businesses and people in Lima were coming instead of going. But in January, 1990, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney upped the ante. He revealed during a visit here plans to close the Lima Army Tank Plant, news that set Mr. Berger into action and foreshadowed much of what would happen with the plant over the next three decades.
Since it opened in 1941, the plant's work force has risen and fallen with the tides of defense spending and the military's needs overseas. Mr. Berger's first brush with the Pentagon led to his earliest battles to secure the city's manufacturing base. The wars have never stopped coming.