MALE SPEAKER 1: A nation fully engaged in the long War on Terror demands perfection in training that cannot wait for Vermont's long winters to come to an end. The Green Mountain Boys of the Vermont Air National Guard take their training commitment seriously, and Snowbird prepares them to train in a desert scenario that will simulate the real-world deployed environment.
MALE SPEAKER 2: Snowbird is basically a deployment where we can come down here in the winter. We lose a lot of flying back home based on snow and ice, and so we can come down here where the weather's good, the ranges are good. We can bring a lot of ordinance, and basically we can train to deploy, which is essentially what we're doing here. We pick up a lot of people and a lot of bombs, we come down to a strange area, and we continue the training that we would do back home, just with a little bit better flying weather to accomplish that training.
MALE SPEAKER 3: It takes an incredible amount of people to support a flying operation spece-- specifically a fighter pilot operation. To have 12 F-16s out here, we have just under 200 people. The pilots get to fly them, but it's all the enlisted folk, men and women, that maintain them and fix them when we break them that make the operation go. So to really launch 12 F-16s out of here for two weeks take just about that number, almost 200 people, to make it all happen. And you have specialists from the Crew Chief -- just like a NASCAR Crew Chief -- is responsible for the jet all the time when it's on the ground -- to the specialists, like the radar specialist or the weapons specialist, [and so they] come and work on the systems on the [F-16].
MALE SPEAKER 4: That gives the pilots a chance to catch up on munitions they're going to be using when they're deployed. And it gives us a chance to work with the younger troops that are in Burlington with us all the time. So they're out here, doing the job that they'll be doing when we're deployed to the Middle East.
MALE SPEAKER 5: We get to work with actual live assets here, and back home we'd be working with inert. And we don't get to do the laser-guided bombs at home, and [J-Dans], things of that nature. Except for building and training them, but here we go cradle to grave with them, and take them right to the aircraft. And then hopefully, they don't come back.
MALE SPEAKER 6: We're dropping live ordinance out here, and there's only a few places you can do that. So it's as close as you can get to the real thing. We're also going against targets that look very similar to targets that we might be called upon to strike if we're supporting US ground troops and Coalition troops in Southwest Asia. So it's a very good warm-up. Nothing is ever exactly like real combat, but this is about as close as you can get.