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News > Enlisted Heritage Hall offers ever-growing list of exhibits
Enlisted Heritage Hall offers ever-growing list of exhibits
On the left is part of the museum’s “Sixty Years of Air Force Enlisted Uniforms” display that chronicles uniforms worn from the Air Force’s inception in 1947 to today. On the right is the “Wall of Achievers” that holds signed photographs of former enlisted members who have risen to prominence. Regular additions are made to this display. (Air Force photo/Donna Burnett)
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Enlisted Heritage Hall offers ever-growing list of exhibits

Posted 6/25/2010   Updated 6/25/2010 Email story   Print story


by Carl Bergquist
Air University Public Affairs

6/25/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- No matter how often they come through the doors, there is almost always something new for visitors to the Enlisted Heritage Hall.

Some of the newest features are videos accompanying some exhibits. The first black and white silent movie ever made about aviation shows the Wright brothers demonstrating, and attempting to sell, their Wright Flyer to the U.S. Army. The video is included in the museum's Wright brothers display.

"The visual effects are added to attract more attention and interest to our exhibits," said Bill Chivalette, EHH curator. "It is an extra touch and shows how progressive EHH is, especially toward younger visitors."

Other videos describe the Battle of St. Mihiel, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Glen Miller story, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the Khobar Towers bombing, the Doolittle Raiders and an account of Chief Master Sgt. Etchberger's role at Lima Site 85 during the Vietnam War.

An area that is continuously under upgrade is the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force room. Here, the story of the Air Force's 16 CMSAFs is told, and the staff sees this as especially important for young Airmen touring the museum.

"Chief (James) Roy (the current CMSAF) was recently at Maxwell-Gunter during a time when we had members from the First Term Airmen Center visiting EHH, and he came over to say hello," Mr. Chivalette said. "It just happened FTAC students were in the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force room when Chief Roy arrived, and one of the students was looking at Chief Roy's portrait when the chief walked up to him. The young Airman looked at the portrait, then at Chief Roy, then at the portrait, and it was obvious he couldn't believe what he was seeing. The chief replied to the Airman, 'How do you like my room?'"

As part of the Enlisted Heritage Research Institute, EHH is the only Air Force museum dedicated to telling the story of contributions made by enlisted members to the Air Force.

Chief Master Sgt. David "Rick" Fanning, EHRI director, said many older exhibits are being renovated, and new exhibits are being added almost weekly to the museum's inventory.

"We are nearly done with the Air Force Reserve Command display. All we need is the experts to come in and help us finish it," he said. "We could Google AFRC and use some words from the Internet, but we would much prefer to have the experts give us their advice and blessings."

Mr. Chivalette said the Joint Unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence exhibit, which includes unmanned aerial system control terminals from Creech Air Force Base, Nev., is nearing completion. The display will allow visitors to experience the mission that supports, directs and coordinates combat sorties in Afghanistan and Iraq through the use of Predator and Reaper remotely piloted aircraft systems.

Chief Fanning said a visiting ANG member from Massachusetts has recently revamped the Air National Guard exhibit, and future progress to the museum will include completing shadow boxes for all 16 CMSAFs and finishing a three-section basic training display that traces the training from 1947 to the present.

He said final touches are being put on an exhibit that follows the chronology of Air Force uniforms, and a display showing the role of Combat Camera is well underway.

He also said the front lobby of EHH, which has become a "gathering spot" for Barnes Center students and staff, is now adorned with two of Chief Roy's combat uniforms and a new display that will hold special coins from people such as the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff.

One of Chief Fanning's foremost projects is the renovation of the EHRI conference room.

"By reorganizing the conference room, we will be able to enclose the conference table, projector, screen and other support materials in an area that is essentially the back of the existing space," he said. "That will open up the front area to the museum for additional exhibits."

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