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NSA Celebrates America’s Armed Forces & Police at the National Cryptologic Museum

By Louis J. Leto, National Cryptologic Museum

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May 18 was a little warm and a bit breezy, but it was a perfect day for NSA's 2019 Armed Forces & National Police Celebration at the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM). The museum offered more than 40 activities at this annual event, the most since it debuted seven years ago.

Visitors enjoyed a variety of activities that included brain twisters by NSA’s K-12 Outreach, martial arts demonstrations and face painting by U.S. Marines, military and police working dog demonstrations, weapons displays by military and NSA Police, World War II displays, and much more, all for only the cost of fuel to get here.

One of the new attractions this year was the U.S. Army Band “Downrange,” whose outstanding vocal and musical performance included an assortment of traditional and popular songs for all ages. Another was the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, who gave an awe-inspiring demonstration of precision and pride as they marched onto the museum parking lot before a crowd that included Gen. Paul E. Nakasone, commander, U.S. Cyber Command, director, National Security Agency, commander, Central Security Service, and his family. The platoon’s 14-minute performance, all done without vocal commands, was something never before seen at the NCM and earned several applauses before their final ovation.

Another new attraction was the 2nd Military Working Dog Detachment. Demonstrating how they train their four-legged partners, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Kemp and two of his Soldiers wore protective suits as they commanded their dogs to tackle them and apply their 300-pound bites into their arms and legs.

A caricature artist was yet another addition this year, which proved to be quite popular, especially among children. Kids, and sometimes parents, posed for the artist as he created 11×17 caricatures in their favorite police and military uniforms. This activity and the Snow Cone stand were possible courtesy of the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation.

The World War II 67th Signal Battalion, K-12 Outreach’s Language Educational Enhancement Program, the tri-lingual music of the Lyric Response Team, Maryland Commitment to Veterans, 22nd Intelligence Squadron and 707th Communications Squadron, and Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion made up the other new activities at the celebration this year. All this while the Friedman Robot “roamed” inside the museum. Mark Loepker of the Cyber Center for Education & Innovation, the future home of the National Cryptologic Museum, remotely operated Friedman from a baseball field in Odenton, Md., and chatted on the robot with visitors in the NCM.

NSA and Ft. Meade Police made a significant footprint at the event also, bringing vehicles, weapons, and tools of all sizes. The military’s Reserve Component also participated with vehicles and equipment from the U.S. Army Reserve’s 200th Military Police Command and National Guard’s 32nd Civil Support Team.

Open to all visitors, 1,300 people attended the 2019 Armed Forces & National Police Celebration and engaged with men and women who serve our nation in military or police blue uniform. This is a key goal of the event every year, to allow people from the local community and those who serve to get to know each other better and forge a lasting relationship.

See more photos of the NCM’s 2019 Armed Forces & National Police Celebration on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalCryptologicMuseum.