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NCAA Coaches Tour 2009

Organized by:

Morale Entertainment
in Association with
Armed Forces Entertainment
Coaches Tour 2009 begins at the home
 base of our KC-135 aerial refueling tanker
aircraft - McConnell Air Force Base. All ...
Donations totaling 12,300 pounds of
T-shirts, hats, footballs, posters, books,
etc. were sorted and stacked on pallets
Three coaches joined the trip at McConnell AFB. Here, Jim Tressel, Jim Grobe and
Troy Calhoun are given a tour of McConnel...
Coach Jim Tressel is shown how to operate a robot used where it is
                    too dangerous for troops.
Coach Troy Calhoun sights a
            weapon system
The coaches had an opportunity
  to ride in a full motion flight
    simulator of the KC135
Coach Jim Grobe is fitted with full
protective gear we will need to wear
                while flying into Iraq
Air Force crewmembers working through
configuration plans to fit all seats, cargo and
                   personnel on our ...
Sprint was one of this year’s
    Coaches Tour sponsors. Sprint
      provided 20 international cell
phones for troops to ...
Capt. Eric Junkins (on right) and Capt. Chris Dieter fly our KC-135 Stratotanker carrying
       Coaches Tour 2009 partici...
Our KC-135 makes a stop at Scott Air
Force Base in Illinois. Here Coach
Grobe is greeted by three star General
Vern Findle...
The four remaining coaches join the tour at Scott AFB. Here four star General Arthur Lichte briefs
 the entire group of co...
Coaches Rick
Neuheisel and
Tommy Tuberville
listen intently to our
mission briefing in
General Lichte’s
office
The coaches discuss our mission
  as we launch from Scott AFB
      headed for Germany
We land at Ramstein AFB on a
beautiful day. Here Ray Caldiero
 stretches after our 8 hour flight.
It is “Appreciation Day” at Ramstein AFB. We are invited to
       join a barbecue with the troops and their families.
School children greet us
      with music
Smiles all around as troops have their
photos taken with their favorite coach
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center




Every day, planes land at Ramstein AFB with severely injured US soldiers from Iraq a...
Coach Brown had
     created a special
healing medallion as
gifts for the wounded
We were all touched by
the thankfulness for our
         visit expressed
      universally by the
        wounded troops
Jim Tressel autographs
 a hat from Ohio State
  for a grateful soldier
Hospital staff were
   tickled to have their
team’s coach visit and
          share stories
School t-shirts were given to
all visited patients and staff
Everyone wanted a photo to
    remember the day
Some die-hard
 fans make up
their own shirts
Fans await
  our first
 question
and answer
  session
Tommy Tuberville, our
 only returning coach,
        moderates the
         Q&A session
Then, the autograph
 and picture taking
opportunities begin
School fans can’t wait to
   express their gratitude on
camera about the opportunity
          to meet their idols
After a long day, the entire group enjoys a German feast
               at a local outdoor restaurant
The coaches each
had the opportunity
to sit with the
troops during
meals. This gave
various school fans
a chance to
discus...
Troy Calhoun was given the
opportunity to speak to the
   troops over breakfast.
We have just landed at Incirlik Air Force Base in Adana, Turkey. At each stop, we are taken
   on a base tour to understan...
During our visit
in Turkey, we
stop by a crew
from Michigan
repairing a
refueling boom
off of a KC-135
tanker
There is immediate competition between
these Michigan fans and Ohio State’s Coach
    Jim Tressel, but always in good fun
The Michigan crew tries to surprise Coach Tressel with
 a “Challenge Coin” from The University of Michigan
But, he meets
their challenge by
presenting them
with an Ohio
State Coin
After a lot of laughs and good
cheer, we take a group photo
We had numerous Q&A sessions that gave the troops
many opportunities to verbalize those questions they
     always wanted ...
The Coaches provided
thorough answers to
sometimes provocative
questions

                        Then, the autograph
    ...
We traveled to areas of bases where the
 troops were getting ready for the day’s
duties. Here, Coach Grobe addresses a
   ...
Coach Calhoun personally
thanks each member of this
      Security detail
After the coaches had a chance to talk with everyone,
     they were happy to pose for a group picture
After a long day on the
base in Incirlik - Turkey, we
head out to dinner off base
After an amazing array of
   salads, a wooden plank is
placed on the table with freshly
      baked bread on top
Then, the master chef
brings to the table a long
sword with lamb, chicken
and vegetables skewered
    on the full length
The sword is extracted while many waiters hold
      the meats and vegetables in place
Finally individual portions are cut
and served on plates. We all enjoy
    scrumptious Turkish food!
The following morning, we transfer all
personnel and SWAG from our KC-135
   to a C-17 with defensive counter
   measures ...
1




  The Boeing Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. The C-17 was developed for the United
   States...
The coaches are getting excited about
  taking off to visit the troops in Iraq
Traveling with us our entire mission was
        Colonel Bart Weiss, whose previous
   deployment was running air operatio...
We inspect the
cavernous interior of
     the C-17
Each Coach got a chance to sit
  in the C-17 cockpit and peer
through the “Heads Up Display”
Our C-17 is configured, the cargo
loaded and our coaches take their
    seats for our flight to Iraq.
Coach Nutt is given a
weapon indoctrination by
           a member of
     our security detail
Colonel Ed Shock, Head of Armed Forces
 Entertainment briefs Colonel Weiss and other Military
personnel about our day’s sc...
Our fully loaded C-17 departs Turkey for Iraq
As we cross over
  Turkish airspace into
Iraq, it is eerily beautiful
    from 41,000 feet
Once in Iraqi airspace, we
are required to suit up in our
 41 pound flack jackets and
       battle helmets
Jim Tressel gives
an interview to our
 video crew about
  what it means to
   visit our Military
men and women in
    unif...
After landing in Balad, a
pallet mover positions itself
 at the end of the lowered
     C-17 cargo ramp.
All seven NCAA Head Football
Coaches push tons of SWAG off the
   C-17, onto the pallet mover
There will be hundreds of troops excited to
receive t-shirts, hats, books and posters being
           off-loaded by the C...
Our C-17 flight crew wanted a picture
memorializing their mission to transport
        our Coaches into Iraq
After off-loading the
SWAG and removing
their body armor, the
    Coaches deplane
through the aft cargo
  ramp onto the ba...
Col. Sal Nodjomian has an Ohio State shrine
in his office. For him, it was like having “Elvis”
      walk in when Coach Tr...
These helicopters are flying ambulances. The
  statistics are overwhelming. If an injured
solider arrives at a field hospi...
Our Coaches were asked to sign a memory
       wall at the hospital in Balad
There were die-hard college football
 fans in Iraq that came prepared to
        show their team spirit
The level of enthusiasm was unbelievable. We did observe that the troops in active war zones
    had the highest energy le...
Col Nodjomian was thrilled to be photographed between
            national champion coaches.
During our Balad
Base tour, we were
shown confiscated
Al-Qaeda weapons
Troy Calhoun wanted to hold some of the
           enemy weapons
Coach Calhoun holding an
  autographed Air Force
Academy football with some
        of his fans
Coach Brown provides instructions to several
of the football players about some of the skills
         training they would...
The coaches loved
teaching the troops new
skills that would improve
their flag football games
even on these dusty and
    ...
Each coach worked with
 smaller groups testing
the new skills the troops
   were being taught
In a war zone, all active military have weapons at the ready. We
      were trained what to do if there was a mortar attac...
Although there was an intense dust storm, both
   teams wanted to play flag football. Tommy
   Tuberville brushed up on lo...
The teams for this game would be Air Force vs.
    Army. The coaches divided up with Coach
Calhoun naturally working with ...
Strategies are developed.
Each coach had words of inspiration.
Fans posted banners
 and rooted for their
  respective team
Tommy Tuberville would be an
active referee on the field and
 tossed the coin to determine
  who would kick and receive
Houston Nutt, wearing his famous Ole Miss
        hat analyzes game plays
The Air Force
Captain talks over
 the game with
  Coach Grobe
Mack Brown watches from the sidelines with
     some of his Army team players
When the game is over, all are
 pleased to have participated
Under Armour shirts are given to all the players and a team picture is captured
And one with the Under Armour Banner
In addition to 130,000 troops in Iraq there are a similar number of contractors. They
           were equally thrilled to ...
We depart Balad for Baghdad well after
    midnight on a C-130 transport
Coach Calhoun Promotes New Captains


While waiting to board our C-130, Troy Calhoun, head football coach at the Air
Force...
Our C-130 was totally blacked out for our late night flight over Iraq. Full battle gear is required.
We land in Baghdad,
board our bus and
drive to our
accommodations
arriving at 3:00 AM
For two nights in Baghdad, we were
 fortunate to be housed in one of
Saddam Hussein’s 99 Palaces. This
    one had not bee...
The interior was filled with
ornate furniture and marble
        everywhere
Jim Grobe contemplates
what it would be like to rule
a country as he sits on
Saddam Hussein’s throne
A Group Shot in the Palace
A message from a reservist:
  “I know the troops really appreciate you taking the time
  to visit them. While being deploy...
Although it was hot and dry during our tour, it
  can be wet and muddy for our soldiers to
             operate Hummers.
Our security
    force was
  happy to let
 the coaches
     hold their
weapons for a
       picture
MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
vehicles) in Iraq cost at least $500,000 each.
The troops were thrilled to show off and
        describe their MRAP vehicle
                         capabilities
Coaches Meet Privately
 with and were Briefed by
Four-Star General Odierno
         General Raymond T. Odierno, (born 1954...
Troops can only attend a Q&A or other session if they are not on duty at that time.
Numerous meeting opportunities were sc...
Many unusual items were presented to
          the coaches for signatures
Mack Brown was thrilled to see a framed and
signed Texas jersey on display in Iraq. He chose
        this location for an ...
Tommy Tuberville used his late afternoon to practice
                       his golf swing at the Palace
Mack Brown is awed by being in Iraq with our
    troops as he reflects on the days events
Troy Calhoun was thrilled to fly from
Baghdad with these 135 troops heading
   home from their deployment in Iraq.
After we landed in Kuwait, David Raih
was happy to see our KC-135 waiting
     for us to fly our tour onto Djibouti
Mike Whalen and Col Ed Shock discuss logistics while boarding our KC-135 in Kuwait
We flew over Saudi Arabia and the Red
 Sea to our destination, Djibouti in the
            Horn of Africa
1




Col Shock took charge of moving personal gear at
each stop to our sleeping quarters and SWAG to
respective venues fo...
This is the only US
Military Base in Africa,
 a Naval Base run by
          Admiral Kurta
They take their football very seriously in
     Djibouti. Prior to the game, Coach
  Brown interviews Admiral Kurta about
...
Unlike the sand and rock football field in
Iraq, in Djibouti, the field is fully covered
     with artificial turf and sta...
The National Anthem is Played
Navy’s Football Captain gets the team fired
   up while Rick Neuheisel listens intently
The Coaches
love the passion
and enthusiasm
of these players.
After the game, the coaches
shook hands with all who played.
Every time we entered a mess hall to
 eat, troops swarmed the coaches to
spend time, enjoy a meal and listen to
          ...
Houston Nutt was awed by the poverty
of the local population surrounding the
Naval Base. We stopped for a picture
on the w...
Our final stop is another
Naval Base in Rota,
Spain. The coaches sit
on the edge of a golf
course to answer
questions.
Tommy Tuberville was
surprised by the
adoring Auburn fans
that couldn’t wait to
meet him.
An Ole Miss
family each
receives signed
“camouflage”
footballs from
Coach Nutt.
The coaches developed
 wonderful relationships
        with each other
        during the tour.
Our final opportunity to
enjoy local cuisine was
at this Flamenco
restaurant. Here
octopus is prepared
and served with oth...
The Base Commander
was a die-hard UCLA
fan and brought his wife
to meet Rick Neuheisel.
Time for one last group
photo with our flight
crew by the beach in
Spain.
Our Mission Commander, Maj Lucas Jobe was
  ready to lead our group on the flight back to
                                ...
There’s
always time
   for a little
     friendly
competition
 between a
  young Air
       Force
Captain and
      Coach
...
It was an extraordinary privilege to travel with
these wonderful men on our mission of morale.
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
Coaches Tour 2009 Complete
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Coaches Tour 2009 Complete

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Seven NCAA Head Football Coaches travel to US Military bases overseas to build troop morale.

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Coaches Tour 2009 Complete

  1. 1. NCAA Coaches Tour 2009 Organized by: Morale Entertainment in Association with Armed Forces Entertainment
  2. 2. Coaches Tour 2009 begins at the home base of our KC-135 aerial refueling tanker aircraft - McConnell Air Force Base. All our long-range flights were flown in this tanker.
  3. 3. Donations totaling 12,300 pounds of T-shirts, hats, footballs, posters, books, etc. were sorted and stacked on pallets
  4. 4. Three coaches joined the trip at McConnell AFB. Here, Jim Tressel, Jim Grobe and Troy Calhoun are given a tour of McConnell Air Force Base including a close-up look at a refueling boom on a tanker aircraft.
  5. 5. Coach Jim Tressel is shown how to operate a robot used where it is too dangerous for troops.
  6. 6. Coach Troy Calhoun sights a weapon system
  7. 7. The coaches had an opportunity to ride in a full motion flight simulator of the KC135
  8. 8. Coach Jim Grobe is fitted with full protective gear we will need to wear while flying into Iraq
  9. 9. Air Force crewmembers working through configuration plans to fit all seats, cargo and personnel on our mission
  10. 10. Sprint was one of this year’s Coaches Tour sponsors. Sprint provided 20 international cell phones for troops to make free calls from downrange to their loved ones in the States.
  11. 11. Capt. Eric Junkins (on right) and Capt. Chris Dieter fly our KC-135 Stratotanker carrying Coaches Tour 2009 participants overseas. Both pilots are assigned to the Air Refueling Group at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas
  12. 12. Our KC-135 makes a stop at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Here Coach Grobe is greeted by three star General Vern Findley, Vice Commander, Air Mobility Command.
  13. 13. The four remaining coaches join the tour at Scott AFB. Here four star General Arthur Lichte briefs the entire group of coaches about the global mission of Air Mobility Command. AMC operates a fleet larger than all of American Airlines and Federal Express combined.
  14. 14. Coaches Rick Neuheisel and Tommy Tuberville listen intently to our mission briefing in General Lichte’s office
  15. 15. The coaches discuss our mission as we launch from Scott AFB headed for Germany
  16. 16. We land at Ramstein AFB on a beautiful day. Here Ray Caldiero stretches after our 8 hour flight.
  17. 17. It is “Appreciation Day” at Ramstein AFB. We are invited to join a barbecue with the troops and their families.
  18. 18. School children greet us with music
  19. 19. Smiles all around as troops have their photos taken with their favorite coach
  20. 20. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Every day, planes land at Ramstein AFB with severely injured US soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the biggest American military hospital in Europe, lives are saved, limbs amputated, gunshot wounds patched up and burn victims treated.
  21. 21. Coach Brown had created a special healing medallion as gifts for the wounded
  22. 22. We were all touched by the thankfulness for our visit expressed universally by the wounded troops
  23. 23. Jim Tressel autographs a hat from Ohio State for a grateful soldier
  24. 24. Hospital staff were tickled to have their team’s coach visit and share stories
  25. 25. School t-shirts were given to all visited patients and staff
  26. 26. Everyone wanted a photo to remember the day
  27. 27. Some die-hard fans make up their own shirts
  28. 28. Fans await our first question and answer session
  29. 29. Tommy Tuberville, our only returning coach, moderates the Q&A session
  30. 30. Then, the autograph and picture taking opportunities begin
  31. 31. School fans can’t wait to express their gratitude on camera about the opportunity to meet their idols
  32. 32. After a long day, the entire group enjoys a German feast at a local outdoor restaurant
  33. 33. The coaches each had the opportunity to sit with the troops during meals. This gave various school fans a chance to discuss football in great depth. Here Mack Brown enjoys the camaraderie.
  34. 34. Troy Calhoun was given the opportunity to speak to the troops over breakfast.
  35. 35. We have just landed at Incirlik Air Force Base in Adana, Turkey. At each stop, we are taken on a base tour to understand the unique operations required for their mission.
  36. 36. During our visit in Turkey, we stop by a crew from Michigan repairing a refueling boom off of a KC-135 tanker
  37. 37. There is immediate competition between these Michigan fans and Ohio State’s Coach Jim Tressel, but always in good fun
  38. 38. The Michigan crew tries to surprise Coach Tressel with a “Challenge Coin” from The University of Michigan
  39. 39. But, he meets their challenge by presenting them with an Ohio State Coin
  40. 40. After a lot of laughs and good cheer, we take a group photo
  41. 41. We had numerous Q&A sessions that gave the troops many opportunities to verbalize those questions they always wanted to ask their favorite coach.
  42. 42. The Coaches provided thorough answers to sometimes provocative questions Then, the autograph and picture taking opportunities began
  43. 43. We traveled to areas of bases where the troops were getting ready for the day’s duties. Here, Coach Grobe addresses a base security force.
  44. 44. Coach Calhoun personally thanks each member of this Security detail
  45. 45. After the coaches had a chance to talk with everyone, they were happy to pose for a group picture
  46. 46. After a long day on the base in Incirlik - Turkey, we head out to dinner off base
  47. 47. After an amazing array of salads, a wooden plank is placed on the table with freshly baked bread on top
  48. 48. Then, the master chef brings to the table a long sword with lamb, chicken and vegetables skewered on the full length
  49. 49. The sword is extracted while many waiters hold the meats and vegetables in place
  50. 50. Finally individual portions are cut and served on plates. We all enjoy scrumptious Turkish food!
  51. 51. The following morning, we transfer all personnel and SWAG from our KC-135 to a C-17 with defensive counter measures that will fly us into Iraq
  52. 52. 1 The Boeing Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. The C-17 was developed for the United States Air Force from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases anywhere in the world. It has the ability to rapidly deploy a combat unit to a potential battle area and sustain it with on-going supplies. The C-17 is also capable of performing tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions.
  53. 53. The coaches are getting excited about taking off to visit the troops in Iraq
  54. 54. Traveling with us our entire mission was Colonel Bart Weiss, whose previous deployment was running air operations at Incirlik AFB. However, he didn't always want to be a squadron commander. In 1985, he was an Air Force Academy quarterback who was the first in academy history to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards in a season (and played with Coach Calhoun). Sports writers considered him a Heisman Trophy contender. Even the Atlanta Falcons courted Colonel Weiss during his senior year.
  55. 55. We inspect the cavernous interior of the C-17
  56. 56. Each Coach got a chance to sit in the C-17 cockpit and peer through the “Heads Up Display”
  57. 57. Our C-17 is configured, the cargo loaded and our coaches take their seats for our flight to Iraq.
  58. 58. Coach Nutt is given a weapon indoctrination by a member of our security detail
  59. 59. Colonel Ed Shock, Head of Armed Forces Entertainment briefs Colonel Weiss and other Military personnel about our day’s schedule and logistics for our arrival into Balad - Iraq
  60. 60. Our fully loaded C-17 departs Turkey for Iraq
  61. 61. As we cross over Turkish airspace into Iraq, it is eerily beautiful from 41,000 feet
  62. 62. Once in Iraqi airspace, we are required to suit up in our 41 pound flack jackets and battle helmets
  63. 63. Jim Tressel gives an interview to our video crew about what it means to visit our Military men and women in uniform in Iraq
  64. 64. After landing in Balad, a pallet mover positions itself at the end of the lowered C-17 cargo ramp.
  65. 65. All seven NCAA Head Football Coaches push tons of SWAG off the C-17, onto the pallet mover
  66. 66. There will be hundreds of troops excited to receive t-shirts, hats, books and posters being off-loaded by the Coaches
  67. 67. Our C-17 flight crew wanted a picture memorializing their mission to transport our Coaches into Iraq
  68. 68. After off-loading the SWAG and removing their body armor, the Coaches deplane through the aft cargo ramp onto the base
  69. 69. Col. Sal Nodjomian has an Ohio State shrine in his office. For him, it was like having “Elvis” walk in when Coach Tressel visited
  70. 70. These helicopters are flying ambulances. The statistics are overwhelming. If an injured solider arrives at a field hospital with a pulse, there is a 98% probability he will survive.
  71. 71. Our Coaches were asked to sign a memory wall at the hospital in Balad
  72. 72. There were die-hard college football fans in Iraq that came prepared to show their team spirit
  73. 73. The level of enthusiasm was unbelievable. We did observe that the troops in active war zones had the highest energy levels probably resulting from higher than normal daily stress.
  74. 74. Col Nodjomian was thrilled to be photographed between national champion coaches.
  75. 75. During our Balad Base tour, we were shown confiscated Al-Qaeda weapons
  76. 76. Troy Calhoun wanted to hold some of the enemy weapons
  77. 77. Coach Calhoun holding an autographed Air Force Academy football with some of his fans
  78. 78. Coach Brown provides instructions to several of the football players about some of the skills training they would experience
  79. 79. The coaches loved teaching the troops new skills that would improve their flag football games even on these dusty and rock strewn fields
  80. 80. Each coach worked with smaller groups testing the new skills the troops were being taught
  81. 81. In a war zone, all active military have weapons at the ready. We were trained what to do if there was a mortar attack.
  82. 82. Although there was an intense dust storm, both teams wanted to play flag football. Tommy Tuberville brushed up on local game rules
  83. 83. The teams for this game would be Air Force vs. Army. The coaches divided up with Coach Calhoun naturally working with the Air Force team.
  84. 84. Strategies are developed.
  85. 85. Each coach had words of inspiration.
  86. 86. Fans posted banners and rooted for their respective team
  87. 87. Tommy Tuberville would be an active referee on the field and tossed the coin to determine who would kick and receive
  88. 88. Houston Nutt, wearing his famous Ole Miss hat analyzes game plays
  89. 89. The Air Force Captain talks over the game with Coach Grobe
  90. 90. Mack Brown watches from the sidelines with some of his Army team players
  91. 91. When the game is over, all are pleased to have participated
  92. 92. Under Armour shirts are given to all the players and a team picture is captured
  93. 93. And one with the Under Armour Banner
  94. 94. In addition to 130,000 troops in Iraq there are a similar number of contractors. They were equally thrilled to get an autograph from a favorite coach.
  95. 95. We depart Balad for Baghdad well after midnight on a C-130 transport
  96. 96. Coach Calhoun Promotes New Captains While waiting to board our C-130, Troy Calhoun, head football coach at the Air Force Academy, promotes Phil Shapiro and Alecia Fogerty to the rank of Captain during a late-night impromptu ceremony on a flightline in Iraq. Both officers are Air Force C-130 Hercules pilots who flew Calhoun and six other NCAA football coaches to visit troops in Bagdad.
  97. 97. Our C-130 was totally blacked out for our late night flight over Iraq. Full battle gear is required.
  98. 98. We land in Baghdad, board our bus and drive to our accommodations arriving at 3:00 AM
  99. 99. For two nights in Baghdad, we were fortunate to be housed in one of Saddam Hussein’s 99 Palaces. This one had not been destroyed
  100. 100. The interior was filled with ornate furniture and marble everywhere
  101. 101. Jim Grobe contemplates what it would be like to rule a country as he sits on Saddam Hussein’s throne
  102. 102. A Group Shot in the Palace
  103. 103. A message from a reservist: “I know the troops really appreciate you taking the time to visit them. While being deployed you focus so much on your job that you forget what it means to be home, especially for the troops deployed to combat zones. When tours like yours comes through, it gives everyone an opportunity to take a step back and reflect. Even if the visit only lasts 10 minutes, it gives the folks an opportunity to remember home life. That 10 minutes triggers a lot of memories from home and can last for a few days or even weeks. Once they return home from their deployments, they will soon forget about how bad their conditions were, but will always remember the people they met.
  104. 104. Although it was hot and dry during our tour, it can be wet and muddy for our soldiers to operate Hummers.
  105. 105. Our security force was happy to let the coaches hold their weapons for a picture
  106. 106. MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles) in Iraq cost at least $500,000 each.
  107. 107. The troops were thrilled to show off and describe their MRAP vehicle capabilities
  108. 108. Coaches Meet Privately with and were Briefed by Four-Star General Odierno General Raymond T. Odierno, (born 1954) USA, is the current Commanding General, Multi-National Force—Iraq (MNF-I). He assumed command on September 16, 2008. He previously served as Commanding General, III Corps, from May 2006 to May 2008. As the day-to-day Commander of the MNC-I, he was the operational architect of the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 and is credited with implementing the counterinsurgency strategy that, along with the earlier rise of the Sunni Awakening militia movement, led to the decrease in violence during his tenure in Iraq from late 2006 to early 2008. The Weekly Standard has argued that his employment of forces to quell violence across Iraq "redefined the operational art of counterinsurgency".
  109. 109. Troops can only attend a Q&A or other session if they are not on duty at that time. Numerous meeting opportunities were scheduled to allow smaller groups to have a chance to talk with and meet their team’s coach.
  110. 110. Many unusual items were presented to the coaches for signatures
  111. 111. Mack Brown was thrilled to see a framed and signed Texas jersey on display in Iraq. He chose this location for an on-camera interview.
  112. 112. Tommy Tuberville used his late afternoon to practice his golf swing at the Palace
  113. 113. Mack Brown is awed by being in Iraq with our troops as he reflects on the days events
  114. 114. Troy Calhoun was thrilled to fly from Baghdad with these 135 troops heading home from their deployment in Iraq.
  115. 115. After we landed in Kuwait, David Raih was happy to see our KC-135 waiting for us to fly our tour onto Djibouti
  116. 116. Mike Whalen and Col Ed Shock discuss logistics while boarding our KC-135 in Kuwait
  117. 117. We flew over Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea to our destination, Djibouti in the Horn of Africa
  118. 118. 1 Col Shock took charge of moving personal gear at each stop to our sleeping quarters and SWAG to respective venues for autographs
  119. 119. This is the only US Military Base in Africa, a Naval Base run by Admiral Kurta
  120. 120. They take their football very seriously in Djibouti. Prior to the game, Coach Brown interviews Admiral Kurta about that night’s competition.
  121. 121. Unlike the sand and rock football field in Iraq, in Djibouti, the field is fully covered with artificial turf and stadium lights allow nighttime games
  122. 122. The National Anthem is Played
  123. 123. Navy’s Football Captain gets the team fired up while Rick Neuheisel listens intently
  124. 124. The Coaches love the passion and enthusiasm of these players.
  125. 125. After the game, the coaches shook hands with all who played.
  126. 126. Every time we entered a mess hall to eat, troops swarmed the coaches to spend time, enjoy a meal and listen to their thoughts
  127. 127. Houston Nutt was awed by the poverty of the local population surrounding the Naval Base. We stopped for a picture on the way to the airport.
  128. 128. Our final stop is another Naval Base in Rota, Spain. The coaches sit on the edge of a golf course to answer questions.
  129. 129. Tommy Tuberville was surprised by the adoring Auburn fans that couldn’t wait to meet him.
  130. 130. An Ole Miss family each receives signed “camouflage” footballs from Coach Nutt.
  131. 131. The coaches developed wonderful relationships with each other during the tour.
  132. 132. Our final opportunity to enjoy local cuisine was at this Flamenco restaurant. Here octopus is prepared and served with other delicacies.
  133. 133. The Base Commander was a die-hard UCLA fan and brought his wife to meet Rick Neuheisel.
  134. 134. Time for one last group photo with our flight crew by the beach in Spain.
  135. 135. Our Mission Commander, Maj Lucas Jobe was ready to lead our group on the flight back to Andrews AFB
  136. 136. There’s always time for a little friendly competition between a young Air Force Captain and Coach Tressel
  137. 137. It was an extraordinary privilege to travel with these wonderful men on our mission of morale.

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