In this update: Taking care of business in many directions today: Memorial weekend remembrance;  Fuel line; Driver seat; Hydraulic pump; Communications; Trailer maintenance

Today’s Featured Sponsors


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Today Von Armstrong, Steve Rima, Sean Rondestvedt, Les Holm, David Martinson, Steve and Libby Wallace, Steve Rima, Keith Zanghi, Zac Hopkins, Patricia Wood, Jon Higley, Jason Mitchell,  Cory Mitchell, and Marty Jackson made up our rainy Saturday work party.  Eric Wittler and Russ Powrie were busy in Nevada.

3rd U.S Infantry guards the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier 24 hr a day

Sgt Dennis Silvesan

Dennis Silvesan

On this Memorial Day weekend, most Americans are planning picnics, attending parades, watching the Indy 500, and enjoying a three day weekend.  It is also on this weekend we want to remember those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in freedom and enjoy the pleasures of life.

The 3rd U.S. Infantry traditionally known as “The Old Guard,” is the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the U.S.Army, serving our nation since 1784.  The soldiers of the Old Guard maintain a 24 hr vigil, 365 days a week at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier through snow, rain, and hurricanes.   Washington D.C. has cold winters and hot summers…The Old Guard never leaves its post.  Read more about the U. S. Army regiment, The Old Guard here.  Read more about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier here.    All photos in the public domain are available on the Arlington National Cemetery website

Sgt Dennis Silvesan grew up across the street from NAE Team Member Lars Pedersen.  He was part of the 6t Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.  In Vietnam he volunteered May 24, 1970, to go out and pick up some guys on a mission in  Pleiku/An Khe Central Highlands.  Their vehicle got a flat and they pulled over to fix it when they ran over a land mine.  He became one of the 58,220 US Service Men and Women who were killed in the Vietnam War.  Dennis was known as “Joe Cruit”  to the men who served with him. You can read Sgt Silvesan citation here.  We remember Dennis this weekend.

Taylor De Ley

Jessi Combs with Taylor De Ley, Alvord 2013 Test Session

We would like to recognize Taylor De Ley, a friend of the North American Eagle® who flew the Wolfe Air Cessna 337 with aerial camera platform that captured the aerial footage of the Eagle.  You might have seen their filming in several of our documentaries.  This Memorial Day weekend he is flying the Virginia Ann C-47 to Duxford, England to participate in the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  Good job Taylor!



Ethan using sweep up. The floor was dust free!

Ethan and Zac running wires on the Fire / Rescue Vehicle

Ethan adjusting the turkey feathers on the S&S Turbine Services engine

Ethan Rondestvedt came with his dad today and was put on the working end of a broom, sweeping up floor cleaner.  He spent the rest of his time exploring, opening up doors, drawers, and more. He has an inquisitive mind and a need to know.  He learned things about cooking and other stuff from Zac…all good.

Andrew Kirk assembles the ejection seat

Lars Pedersen

Sean Rondestvedt, Les Holm and Jason Mitchell install the seat

Lars Pedersen and Sean Rondestvedt adjusts the seat height

Patricia Wood countersinks a hole

Our tool boxes were put to good use by nearly all present as the team continued work on several on-going projects.  Les got started early on the driver seat frame, removing the old ejection seat features and making it ready for the new safety harness. Andrew joined in as did others during the process.  Keith marked up a sheet metal mock-up and stamp cut it on the sheet metal bender and shear. The seat was installed in order to take measurements and then removed so that brackets could be attached in the interior, then removed for the fitting of the new safety harness.

Steve Wallace hooks up the battery cables

Steve Wallace checked over the electrical circuits for the new hydraulic pump.  Then Les and Keith bled air from the lines and tested the system.  All checked good.

Steve Rima installed a communication radio in the Fire / Rescue Vehicle

Steve Rima installed a new ground communications radio and relocated an antenna on the Fire/Rescue vehicle.  Sean reserved specific drawers and locations in the interior for supplies and equipment.  Jason, Sean, Cory, and David continued work on the fuel filter lines.  Patricia and Jon took on the massive job of washing the transport trailer.

Sean Rondestvedt and Cory Mitchell

David Martinson welds the fuel line as Marty Jackson looks on

Lars Pedersen sharping drill bits

Patricia Wood washes the tractor/trailer rig

Jon Higley cleans up the trailer

Nevada Operations Update

Russ Powrie installing tie-downs in the trailer

Eric Wittler drills holes for new tie-downs

Food preparation trailer is nearly complete

At our Nevada operations improvements were being made on the logistics support trailer.  Eric Wittler and Russ Powrie were busy installing new tie-downs and other improvements.  The trailer is used to carry our entire team support equipment to support food and shelter.

Our favorite photo of Ed Shadle

Ed as a young airman

Ed served in the U.S. Air Force.  He had a lot of friends who lost their lives in Vietnam and he always made sure we remember the fallen on Memorial Day weekend.  Young Ethan was very busy this weekend. Saturday he spent the day with us, and on Sunday he went to Tahoma National Cemetery and visited Ed. While there he brought Ed up to date with all the upcoming plans for the Eagle.

Ed in basic training

Ethan telling Ed the plans for the Eagle

This week’s cover photo Copyright © 2018 Eric Wittler

Sponsor Feature: S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

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45,500 Horsepower from S&S Turbine Services, Ltd

Sponsor Feature: The LeMay Family Collection Foundation

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LeMay Family Collection is a long time sponsor of the North American Eagle®

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Ordinary people doing extraordinary things!


God Bless and Protect our Troops

Land of the Free…Home of the Brave