A last minute mysterious invite promising a chance to shoot at terrorists leads me to the JFTB in Los Alamitos, CA.
My friend Sandi @ Avoiding Regret invited me to go on this tour because she knew I would be the only person interested in driving an hour out of town just to sit on an old run down bus with a bunch of blue hairs from Leisure World.
The tour is offered to the public only four times a year and is provided by the The Regional Military Affairs Committee (RMAC) of the Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce. The young gentlemen up front is Dean, our tour guide and council member of Los Alamitos.
The tour gives you an overview of the basic operations that take place at the JFTB, a 1400 acre military oasis and last remaining active military airfield in the greater LA/Orange County areas.
This building was referred to as the ‘Motel 6’ on base and provides friends and family cheap accommodations while visiting relatives in the neighboring communities.
Throughout the tour and even before you arrive, you are bombarded with information about the only restaurant on base, The Pub at Fiddlers Green. There are signs for it everywhere and they continuously bring it up during the tour. It’s rather annoying.
Well guess what? The first stop on the tour drops your ass off right on the doorstep of The Pub at Fiddlers Green. At least they have a bar and a sweet authentic Irish women running the place.
We didn’t have time to have a drink during the 15 minute promotional tour but if you’re ever in Los Alamitos and would like to check it out, all you have to do is show your ID at the gate and they’ll wave you on in.
The senior command on post is the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized).
I would like to believe I’d be accepted into the All Night Long division.
Airfield Access Granted
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, due to what the United States Navy perceived as a hostile attitude on the part of the City of Long Beach regarding improvements and maintenance of Long Beach Airport (then both a municipal airport and Naval Reserve air station), and unknown to city officials at the time, the Navy had begun a survey for a more suitable site for flight operations.
Black Hawk City
Discussing the history of the airfield.
The power of Disney.
“The vision of the Sunburst Youth Academy (SYA) is to be recognized as the leading alternative educational program for High School dropouts. SYA will meet the unique needs of its Cadets and assist them in making a successful transition to adulthood by fostering and perpetuating the Eight Core Components of ChalleNGe. Through mentoring and education, our graduates will be provided the life skills to be successful in their future endeavors.” – LTC Armstrong – Director
The Mediterranean Fruit Fly Exclusion Program is also located on base. It incubates and emerges over 450 million sterile Medfly pupae per week for aerial release. The density of release is no less than 125,000 sterile Medflies per square mile per week, using twice weekly releases of a minimum of 62,500 sterile flies per square mile. The sterile Medflies are released seven days a week by private aircraft and pilots under contract to the USDA.
On August 23rd 1977, ownership of the base was transferred from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Army and renamed Los Alamitos Army Airfield. During the time Los Alamitos was under Navy ownership, it had IATA/ICAO codes of KNTB/NTB. The U.S. Army then licensed the operation of the base to the California Army National Guard.
The base even has some newer modern buildings but most of the other buildings consist of the typical shitty barracks style dwellings you’d find on any other military base.
The tour ends with an opportunity to utilize the Engagement Skills Trainer using real weapons on an indoor laser range. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
Of course the younger kids on the tour got first dibs.
The guns are real but have been modified to shoot lasers in order to save on cost and provide a little safety during training. The kicks, smells and sounds while shooting the M16A2’s are all very real.
I was told I killed lots of bad guys, so you can thank me for keeping your asses safe.