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National Guard open house Saturday
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The Army National Guard units based at the Great Bend Expo Complex wants to strut their stuff. To this end, guard members stationed there are planning the units’ first-ever open house, said SFC Kevin Hammeke, Great Bend-based Guard recruiter.
The event is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. This is an event to recognized the  E-Tab 161 FA Target Acquisition Battery and 731st Transportation Company, both based at the facility.
Hammeke said they we will have static displays of trucks and trailers, hummers, and Q 36 Radar and generator. There will also be a blackhawk helicopter from the 108 Aviation Company out of Salina making an appearance.
In addition, they will have the Orange County Chopper that was made for the Army National Guard on one of the episodes, as well as some various recruiting equipment, such as the climbing wall, jousting, an obstacle course and mechanical bull.
“This is our first such event,” Hammeke said. “We want to become more involved with the community.”
“We just want to let people know what we have out there in Great Bend,” said Capt. Brian Webb, commander of the 161st. Because of its location, many area residents don’t know much about the facility.
The two units may be headquartered in Great Bend, but Webb said they draw members from all over the state. He is from the Kansas City metropolitan area, and others hail from communities from Lawrence to Dodge City.