Norwegian Nike veterans visit Fort Bliss
Garrison Public Affairs:
From 1957 to 1959, more than 1,000 Norwegian Soldiers received operational and technical training on the Nike missile systems here. Eleven of those Soldiers, along with some of their family members, returned to Fort Bliss Sept. 5 and were able to learn how air defense has developed since the late 1950s.
Highlights of their visit included a stop at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery, visiting a Patriot training site and their old barracks.
Fort Bliss National Cemetery Director Andrew D. Matthews and Foreman Scott Morrill explained to visitors the history of the cemetery and then placed a wreath of red, white and blue flowers – representing both American and Norwegian national colors – to honor fallen servicemembers in front of the five military seals in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, 11th ADA Brigade, performed hosting duties.
B Battery explained what a Patriot missile site looks like in a field environment and showed the group how Soldiers live and work in the field.
The tour ended with a visit to E Battery’s barracks, which happened to be the same barracks in which some of the Norwegians lived in the late 1950s. First Sgt. Christopher Moreno, E Btry. first sergeant, led the tour through the building into the day room and billeting. When they lived in the building, it was an open-bay barracks with 48 men in each room and it was at the edge of the desert.
The Norwegian Nike Veterans Society members and their families said they were appreciative of all they saw while at Fort Bliss. The remainder of the week was spent visiting several area attractions.
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