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NFL Brings Huddle Tour To JB MDL
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — The New York and New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee partnered with the NFL to bring a portion of the “Join the Huddle” Tour to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Jan. 12-13, 2014, at the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 772 Hangar and Lakehurst Commissary here.
In photo above: Army Sgt. Giniva Rodriguez, 302nd Military Police Company military police officer, directs the rolling Super Bowl exhibit truck, known as the Huddle Shuttle, through the installation’s commercial truck gate Jan. 11, 2014, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The New York and New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee partnered with the NFL to bring this event to JB MDL. More than 800 service members and their families came out to partake in the Join the Huddle Tour.
(U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Carrie Volpe/Released)
The event provided the joint base community an inside look into the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII, with exclusive opportunities from the NFL to display gratitude to service members and their families.
“My four kids and I had a great time playing all the fun games here,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Lenard Melad, 32nd Air Refueling Squadron flight engineer. “I’m trying to get them more into football and this helped.”
Approximately 800 service and family members attended the events, enjoying a slew of football-related activities that tested football skills including passing plays, kicking field goals, running and tackling maneuvers, creating celebratory touchdown dances and performing the duties of an NFL official. The main attraction of the event was the rolling Super Bowl exhibit, known as the Huddle Shuttle, which housed Super Bowl memorabilia, including the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Service members and their families waited in line to get their chance to see the trophy up-close. It was enclosed in a glass trophy case and attendees were given the opportunity to have their photograph taken with it, along with two NFL helmets.
“I think the NFL’s ‘Join the Huddle’ experience was a wonderful opportunity for the men and women of JB MDL to enjoy and to see some of the activities that will take place at this year’s Super Bowl,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Matt Coakley, 87th Air Base Wing Staff Judge Advocate. “My wife and I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have our picture taken with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.”
In photo on right: Service members and their families wait in line to experience the NFL’s “Join the Huddle” tour inside Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 772 Hangar Jan. 12, 2014, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The rolling Super Bowl exhibit, known as the Huddle Shuttle, housed Super Bowl memorabilia, including the Vince Lombardi Trophy. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Carrie Volpe/Released)
The Vince Lombardi Trophy display was arguably one of the greatest most distinguishing aspect of the tour. The trophy, which is to be awarded to the Super Bowl XLVIII victor, was brought onto the base the night before the events when it was escorted by volunteer security forces members to the 87th Security Forces Squadron armory for the night.
Service members and families seized the opportunity of viewing the spectacle in addition to the other attractions the tour had to offer.
The attendees also enjoyed free concessions, photographs with New York Jets and Giants cheerleaders and were given the unique opportunity to interact with New York Giants’ players Bear Pascoe and Jim Cordle.
“It was very cool to meet Giants players even though I’m a Jets fan,” said Army Pvt. S’Day Jennings, 3-112th Field Artillery Brigade Golf Company cook. “It’s nice to see the people running this event supporting the military. It’s a definite morale booster.”
The service and family members were enthusiastic about the event and the Host Committee members were pleased to provide them the opportunity.
”We forget as we continue planning for the Super Bowl that we are only able to have a Super Bowl in America because of freedom,” said Alfred Kelly, NY NJ Super Bowl Host Committee president and CEO. “The reality is that the military are the stewards of that freedom. We wanted to find a base that represented all the different branches and JB MDL was the perfect location. Coming to this base gave me an immediate sense of appreciation for what the men and women of the military do on a daily basis. I’m glad JB MDL could host this event so some of their families could come out and enjoy the festivities.”
In photo on right: Staff Sgt. Corey Ray Alpagio, 87th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, directs his canine partner to inspect the Super Bowl exhibit truck, known as the Huddle Shuttle, as it enters the installation’s commercial truck gate Jan. 11, 2014, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The truck was part of the ‘Join the Huddle Tour’ which was brought to JB MDL by the New York and New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL.
(U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Carrie Volpe/Released)