The Air National Guard, a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force, brought its “Rise to the Challenge” tour to the state fair Friday. The experience allows fairgoers to participate in simulated missions that demonstrate the roles of Air Guard men and women.
There are five interactive challenges, said tour coordinator Cierra Johnson. Each is designed to highlight a skill associated with an Air Guard career field.
Four of the challenges are housed in a touring vehicle built to simulate the interior of a cargo plane. To accommodate as many participants as possible, double gaming stations are featured in the touring vehicle.
Scannable tour badges allow participants to keep track of points received.
“The first one is a mechanical challenge where you have 60 seconds to remove and replace cables on an F-16 jet engine,” Johnson said.
The second is a reconnaissance challenge designed to test a player's honing surveillance skills.
“The third is probably the most fun,” Johnson said. This is the refueling challenge where players have the opportunity to refuel a B-2 Spirit bomber midair.
While standing in front of a television screen, the player must hold a remote controller while keeping an eye on the distance from the refueling plane and carefully lift the B-2 bomber, all in 60 seconds.
The last challenge inside the trailer is the medics challenge.
“Here you test your medical knowledge by locating the items the screen asks you to find,” Johnson said.
The final challenge is outdoors and tests physical strength.
“This is the battlefield airman challenge where you are tested to see how many pull-ups or push-ups you can do,” Johnson said.
Fairgoers who finish all five challenges can retrieve their scores by swiping their tour badges with an Air Guard recruiter. The names of the leading challenge performers will be posted at the site, and the tour's leading high scorer will be featured throughout the tour's duration.