National Guard Bureau Launches Rise to the Challenge Tour at Milwaukee ANG Wing

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ryan Kuntze
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing
The National Guard Bureau unveiled its newest recruiting asset at the 128th Air Refueling Wing on Monday, June 21, 2010, as part of the NGB's Rise to the Challenge tour outreach program.

A 38-foot trailer filled with Air Force-based simulations and themed challenge kiosks is the latest tool designed to assist Air National Guard recruiters, said Master Sgt. Duane Butler, the marketing and outreach non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the National Guard Bureau.

"We'll let [people] know what the Air National Guard does and how it can help them achieve their goals," Butler said, regarding the recruiting tour.

Past ANG recruiting efforts at events relied on tents and paper-based recruiting tools, said Senior Master Sgt. Connie Bacik, the recruiting and retention superintendent for the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

The new recruiting tour aims to bring the ANG to the forefront of military recruiting.

"We won't be even with our competitors," Butler said. "We'll blow them out of the water."

"I think we're going to dominate," said Master Sgt. Angela Petri, the 128th Air Refueling Wing recruiting office supervisor. "We're usually the underdogs."

The Rise to the Challenge tour started at the 128 ARW with the filming of a sizzle reel, wherein ANG recruiters interacted with potential recruits and hired actors.

"The reason I picked the 128 ARW, and Wisconsin as a whole, was because Wisconsin has one of the best recruiting teams and the 128 ARW has always been helpful," said Butler.

Several kiosks--titled as challenges--accompany the ANG trailer, and each kiosk highlights a specific mission.

In the refueling challenge, the player takes control of a B-2 Spirit and, using new augmented reality game play, the player has to fly up to a KC-135R Stratotanker to be refueled, said Butler.

The recon kiosk challenges players to examine satellite photographs for 10 seconds, and then asks the players to answer questions regarding minute details from the image, he said.

Players face three challenges at the medical kiosk, wherein they use augmented
reality scenarios to perform a nasopharyngeal airway procedure, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the stabilization of a patient with a neck injury, Butler said.

"We will be one of the first displays to use augmented reality in an interactive display," he said.

Augmented reality scenarios involve a real-world environment that can be manipulated by a player, and is akin to a realistic video game. The games and interactive scenarios available in the ANG's new outreach program were built specifically for the display, Butler said.

The new recruiting tour and outreach program will begin during this year's Summerfest in Milwaukee, said Bacik.

"Last year, Summerfest was rated as the number one outreach venue," she said. "Outreach events are huge, because, even if we're not looking for [recruits], they keep people interested and maintain brand recognition."

The Rise to the Challenge tour will encompass 38 events across the nation, including fairs, sporting events and NASCAR races, Butler said.