New Army NASCAR driver visits SOF Soldiers

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2009/January/090114-01.html

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Jan. 14, 2009) – Soldiers from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command were treated to the opportunity of meeting the U.S. Army’s new NASCAR driver during a visit Jan. 12.

Ryan Newman, along with his pit crew and several friends, came to Fort Bragg, N.C., to meet with some of the Soldiers he will represent driving the Army’s number 39 car.

Newman began his NASCAR career in 2000, and most recently won the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in February 2008.

“I’m kind of inexperienced in the ways of the Army,” Newman said, “so this is all really new to me. It’s nice to be here under these terms.”

After visiting with XVIII Airborne Corps and 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers in the morning, Newman and his crew shared lunch with USASOC Soldiers. Following the meal, the group went to Range 37 for firing demonstrations from U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Soldiers.

While at the range, Newman and others first watched snipers demonstration the capabilities of several rifles, including the Barrett M107 .50-caliber rifle, before they had the chance to fire the weapons themselves. A look of surprise could be seen on faces due to the sound and pure percussive power of the rifle. The group was also able to fire several other weapons used by SOF Soldiers, including the M4 carbine rifle and silenced MP5SD submachine gun.

Many of the Soldiers were excited to meet and interact with the crew while at the range. Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Goodloe, a native of Charlotte, N.C., and an instructor with 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), USAJFKSWCS, had the extra privilege of showing Newman how to fire the M107.

“I’m a big NASCAR fan,” Goodloe said. “When I watch a race, it’s cool to know that the guy driving [the Army] car was shooting my guns.”

Later in the afternoon, the group watched a building-breaching and clearing demonstration in the range’s new 360 degree shoothouse. They also sampled the technology used for training in the virtual shoothouse, where infrared sensors track live rounds shot at projected images and input the hits into a computer system.

Newman was surprised by how quickly an SF team can clear a room.

“I didn’t expect the speed of everything,” he said. “Even after they told me what they will do, I didn’t know what to expect.”

To finish the visit, Newman and several of his crewmembers had the chance to fly in USAJFKSWCS’s vertical wind tunnel. The tunnel simulates the experience of skydiving and is used to train military free fall parachutists. Capable of producing wind speeds of more than 210 miles per hour, the wind tunnel proved faster than any car on the race track.

Overall, the trip introduced Newman to a world he had previously known little about, while allowing him and his crewmates to experience some of the training conducted by SOF Soldiers every day.

“I’m proud to be representing the Army and the more than one million Soldiers who serve,” he said.

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Ryan Newman, the new U.S. Army NASCAR driver, fires a sniper rifle during a visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., by the Army NASCAR crew Jan. 12. The crew toured Range 37 and saw demonstrations of Special Forces training and weapon systems. They also had the chance to fire various rifles and small arms. (Photo by Spc. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO)

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Ryan Newman (left), the new U.S. Army NASCAR driver, meets with Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Csrnko, commanding general of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, during a visit to Fort Bragg, N.C., by the Army NASCAR crew Jan. 12. (Photo by Spc. Tony Hawkins, USASOC PAO)

Question, what's that on top of the M110 sniper scope ?
 
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