Last year, 1,000 people attended the National Cryptologic Museum's (NCM) Open House when it featured its first ever outdoor concert. This year, the Armed Forces Day Celebration promises to be bigger with something for everyone young and old.
The Armed Forces Day Celebration will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 17. U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, and the Central Security Service will join with the Fort Meade Garrison to provide activities outside and inside the museum.
Outside activities will include the U.S. Naval Academy's dixieland band, the Crabtowne Stompers, known for their musical ingenuity and unique musical talents. Visitors will also see Civil War reenactors demonstrate flag signaling "in the clear" and in code. The Civil Air Patrol will let visitors try their piloting skills on a flight simulator. At another table, the NSA K-9 Police unit will talk about their K-9 partners and give demonstrations. Meanwhile, the Ft. Meade's Wounded Warrior unit will let visitors try fly tying and casting.
Kids and parents can get their faces painted in camouflage and then "dress for combat" by donning body armor. Also, military recruiters will have give-aways for people of all ages! Along the way, stop by the Sea Cadets' table to create cards and letters for deployed troops. And while trekking the different activities, kids can get their Cryptologic Passport stamped (and get autographs from military service members) for a prize at the end! Plans to get more military displays are also being coordinated.
Inside the museum, visitors can participate on tours starting every 30 minutes and see hourly presentations on the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, get a peek at rarely seen cryptologic artifacts, and have the opportunity to meet members of the Armed Forces and hear them talk about what it's like to serve our nation in uniform and describe what they do.
Military members of the Central Security Service will provide hot dogs, burgers, and drinks. Ice cream will be available to cool off in what hopefully will be a warm spring day. As always, admission and parking are free.
The NCM is located off Exit 10A on Maryland Route 32 near the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (I-295), adjacent to the National Security Agency headquarters. For more information on the museum, tours, educational programs, and hours and days of operation, go to NSA.gov. Also visit the museum's Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/NationalCryptologicMuseum to learn more about this event.