RJ Murdock

2nd Annual ODA-595 Horse Soldiers Reunion 2023

On October 21, 2023, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2nd Annual ODA 595 Horse Soldiers Reunion at the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds.

Below is a replay video of the event. If you have a Smart TV, search for and install the VidFlow app to watch this video on your big screen TV. This video player also also you to select chapter points to specific speakers and presentations.

(if you’re interested in checking out the Inaugural Reunion video from 2022, click here)


Eleven of the original 12 members of ODA 595 were in attendance for this inaugural reunion event.

Captain Mark Nutsch – Detachment Commander

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bob Pennington – Assistant Detachment Commander

Master Sergeant Paul Evans – Team and Operations Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Andy Marchal – Intelligence Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Steve Kofron.  – Weapons Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Mike Elmore – Weapons Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Chad Jacklet– Engineer Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Pete Walther – Engineer Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Steve Bleigh—Medical Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Vince Makela – Communications Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Will Summers– Communications Sergeant

Staff Sergeant USAF Steve E. Tomat – Tactical Air Control Party (TACP)


Ted Corcoran, CEO of the FWB Chamber, was Master of Ceremony. “This event is not merely an occasion. Ti’s a profound journey, a homage and a celebration of American tenacity and unity. Dive into history. Honor both Air Force and Army legends.”

The National Anthem was presented by Voices of Northwest Florida from Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, Florida

The Invocation was provided by Chaplain (Capt) Steven Richardson, USAF, from Hurlburt Field, Florida

The first guest speaker was Captain Joseph Mulholland, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin AFB, Florida, who presented a statement from his father, Lt Gen John Mulholland (retired), a former Associate Director for Military Affairs at the CIA.

The second guest speaker was Col Kurt Buller, USAF (retired), a former Special Tactics Officer, who provided an insight into the operations in Afghanistan after 911.

The third guest speaker was Col Alison Black, USAF, Commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida, also know as the voice of the Angel of Death during the initial operations in Afghanistan.

The featured guest speaker was Lt General Marshall Brad Webb, USAF (retired), former Commander, USAF Special Operations Command

The final presentation was provided by Lt Col Rich Cole, USAF (retired), Former USAF Pilot, Son of Dolittle Raiders’ Lt Col Dick Cole. He provided some background and noted the similarities between the mission of ODA 595 and the Dolittle Raiders, as well as recognize several key personal from both operations who are no longer with us today.


In 2022, special commemorative canteen cup were created by the Bohlin Company and presented to each member of ODA 595 in honor and recognition of their heroic actions in America’s first response against the Taliban after the 911 attack.


A representative from each event sponsor was given the honor to present the personalized cup to each member of the ODA 595 Horse Soldier team.

If you are interested in learning more about ODA 595 as well as other stories about America’s 1st response to the 911 attacks, check out these sources:

First Casualty by Toby Harnden
First Casualty by Toby Harnden


Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton


Swords of Lightning – Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America’s Response to 911

12 Strong – The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers


2023 FWB Veterans Day Ceremony

Live from the American Legion Post 235 on Hollywood Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, Florida on November 11, 2023, 11AM.

The Veterans Tribute Tower Committee is pleased to host the traditional Veterans Day Ceremony. The guest speaker is Brigadier General Jeffrey T. Geraghty, Commander of Eglin AFB and the 96th Test Wing.

During this Veterans Day and joint Remembrance Day Recognition we will welcome the participation of British Royal Navy Commander Chris Wilcox, and members of his command and their families stationed at Eglin Air Force Base.

Over 1800 Veterans are laid to rest at Beal Memorial Cemetery and we thank the Cadets from Fort Walton Beach High School’s Air Force JrROTC for their support with color guard duties and for rendering military honors as they place flags on Veteran’s final resting places.

During the Ceremony we will recognize our Veterans and local POW, the late Brigadier General George E. Bud Day, as well as MIA, 1966 Choctaw Graduate, Special Forces Staff Sergeant, Fred Gassman. We will also remember the life and work of Tuskegee Airman, the late Chief Master Sergeant, Walt Richardson.

We will also welcome Mr. Reid Soria from Autism Sings with the National Anthem.

Students from Liza Jackson School for the Pledge of Allegiance, Gregg Chapel Pastor, the Reverend Cecil Williams, with the Invocation, and Salvation Army Officer, Lieutenant James Milner with the Benediction.

It will be our honor to recognize the newest member of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, Vietnam Navy Veteran and retired Air Force Colonel, former medical officer of the 919th Special Operation’s Wing, Dr. Gerald Hollingsworth. Dr. Hollingsworth has been selected by the Florida Governor and Cabinet and will be formally inducted on November 14th In Tallahassee, Florida.

Attendees will have the opportunity to place floral bouquets in the community wreath during the ceremony. As a reminder, reading of the names of the departed will be done during the Memorial Day Ceremony in 2024.

For more information, please contact Tom Rice at the Magnolia Grill, 850-302-0266.

Emerald Coast Volleyball Fall Classic 2023

Watch the live-stream videos from the 2023 Emerald Coast Volleyball Fall Classic, which takes place on the beach behind The Boardwalk, on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  These live-stream videos are on Courts 24 & 25 for either Open & A divisions or Men & Women’s Open. Most videos are filmed in dual court coverage, except for Sunday’s Men & Women’s 4-Player Finals, with the infamous Costume Contest between both matches.

Every year the Emerald Coast of Florida hosts two premiere volleyball events, the Emerald Coast Volleyball Week and the Emerald Coast Fall Classic that take place on the beautiful beaches of Okaloosa Island, Florida. These week-long events feature a multitude of volleyball activities, including bringing your own doubles, co-ed doubles, king/queen of the beach, and the famous Fudpucker 4 Player beach volleyball tournament. To learn more or to participate, visit www.EmeraldCoastVolleyball.com


Sunday, October 22, 2023 – Fudpucker Men & Women’s 4-Player Tournament – Playoffs, Finals & Costume Contest

Finals & Costume Contest

Playoff & Semi-finals


Saturday, October 21, 2023 – Fudpucker Men & Women’s 4-Player Tournament – Pools

Afternoon


Morning


Friday, October 20, 2023 – Fudpucker Coed 4-Player Tournament

Playoffs & Finals – Open & A Division

Pools – Open & A Division


Thursday, October 19, 2023 – Men & Women Doubles Tournament

Playoffs & Finals

Pools


Wednesday, October 18, 2023 – Coed Doubles Tournament

Playoffs & Finals

Pools – Open & A Divisions



CES 2023 Walkabout 3D – VR, Gaming & Tech Exhibit Hall (8K 3D180)

This was T3-TV’s first time attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I had planned to spend 3 days walking the exhibit halls and exploring all the technology. But unfortunately due to a family medical emergency that required me to return home asap, I only had about 2 1/2 hours to explore only the gaming and virtual reality tech area. This was my first time using my Canon R5C with dual 5.2mm lens to record the exhibits in 3D180. My goal was to give the viewers watching on a VR headset that “I’m actually there” experience.

Most of the footage was shot handheld and with a neck strap to tried to keep the camera as steady as possible. I definitely learned a few lessons from this walkabout, which helped me create a more stable, self-standing, adjustable monopod configuration for this camera setup that I used a few months later for NAB 2023.

Another unfortunate incident occurred a week after CES when my files on my SSD drive that contained most of all the raw footage was lost. The only files I retained were a few of the original panel sessions videos and a 4K draft version of this walkabout video. I recently decided to utilize my Topaz Lab’s Video Enhance AI software to upscale and sharpen this draft version in order to post here on YouTube VR. I think it came out pretty well.

Enjoy! I can’t wait for CES 2024!

Note: 8K 3D180 footage shot by RJ Murdock with T3-TV using his Canon R5C with Dual 5.2mm lens. It is best watched on a VR headset. If on a 2D computer monitor, drag the image around with your mouse.

Inaugural Dragon Boat Festival & Races 2023

Here’s a highlights video of the aerial coverage of the Inaugural Dragon Boat Festival & Races at The Gulf restaurant on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on Sept 10, 2023. This was a charity event benefiting Bring Hope Now, a peer to peer suicide prevention program for schools and military.

To learn more, donate and/or volunteer, go to www.BringHopeNow.com

NAB 2023 – PTZOptics Interview – Move 4K Camera (3D 8K VR180)

We got a chance to interview Paul Richards from PTZOptics on the exhibit floor of the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the NAB Show 2023 (National Association of Broadcasters) on April 17, 2023. Paul tells us about all the new features of their Move 4K PTZ cameras.

Note: 8K 3D180 footage shot by RJ Murdock with T3-TV using his Canon R5C with Dual 5.2mm lens. It is best watched on a VR headset. If on a 2D computer monitor, drag the image around with your mouse.

Brooks Bridge Groundbreaking Ceremony – August 23, 2023

The Florida Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking ceremony on August 23, 2023 for the official start of construction of the new Brooks Bridge replacement project in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.


Speaking at this ceremony were:

Tim Smith
Tim Smith:
Director – Florida Department of Transportation, District 3

Jared Perdue
Jared Perdue:
Secretary – Florida Department of Transportation, District 3

Doug Broxson
Doug Broxson:
Florida State Senator, District 1


Post ceremony interviews with:

Mel Ponders
Okaloosa County Commissioner, District 5

Carolyn Ketchel
Okaloosa County Commissioner, District 2


Here are some facts about this project:

Project facts and statistics

  • Construction cost: $171 million
  • Start: Design began in July 2022
  • Est. Completion: Summer 2027 Preliminary construction activities began in fall of 2022.
  • Contract term: 1,856 days
  • Bridge length: The new bridge is 2,111 feet long, which is 793 feet longer than the current structure.
  • Bridge height: Horizontal clearance at the channel will increase from 140 to 150 feet.
  • Traffic count: 66,000 average annual daily traffic count

Project team

  • Project owner: Florida Department of Transportation (FOOT) District Three.
  • Design-build contractor: Superior Construction Co. is the design-build contractor.
  • Design services are provided by WSP.
  • CEI consultant: Eisman & Russo, Inc. is providing construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation (FOOT) District Three. They are assisted by Searight Group and Metric.

Project description

This project will construct a new, six-lane bridge across the Santa Rosa Sound to connect Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island. The design calls for two, parallel structures that will feature a total of six travel lanes (three eastbound and three westbound). Both bridge structures will provide three, 11-foot travel lanes flanked by 10-foot shoulders. In addition, both sides of the bridge will be equipped with a 12-foot multi-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Rationale for replacing the current bridge

The current Brooks Bridge was constructed in 1966 and no longer meets current design standards, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, or navigational clearance requirements for this portion of the Gulf lntracoastal Waterway. Additionally, U.S. 98 is the primary east-west connector serving this busy corridor. This project will increase bridge capacity from four to six travel lanes. The new bridge will also include wide shoulders that can be used as refuge lanes during accidents or mechanical malfunctions, and enhanced bicycle and pedestrian accommodations separated from traffic by a concrete barrier.

Bridge history The John T. Brooks Bridge has been a landmark in the city of Fort Walton Beach for more than seven decades. The bridge is named in honor of John Thomas Brooks, who became the first settler in the area around 1868. In 1935, the bridge was a two-lane, low-level structure that featured a “swinging center span” that required a bridge tender to tum the span sideways so that tall watercraft could pass beneath. Over time, the two-lane swing bridge proved deficient to meet the growing transportation demands of the area. In 1966, today’s four-lane Brooks Bridge opened to traffic.

Regional economic impact The $171 million Brooks Bridge replacement project represents a tremendous investment by the State of Florida into the regional economy. The design-build contractor, Superior Construction, estimates they will directly employ more than 100 workers to construct the new bridge.

Traffic impacts U.S. 98 will continue to accommodate two eastbound and two westbound travel lanes throughout construction of the new Brooks Bridge. Required temporary lane closures on U.S. 98 will be limited to the nighttime hours of 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. Also, no lane closures or other traffic impacts will be allowed during holidays or special events.

Construction phases First, crews will construct the new westbound structure, during which time, four lanes (two eastbound and two westbound) will remain open on the current Brooks Bridge. Once the westbound structure is complete, all four-travel lanes will be temporarily shifted from the existing bridge to the new westbound structure. This will allow crews to demolish the existing bridge and build the new eastbound structure. The final phase will place the eastbound traffic onto the eastbound bridge. The final configuration will include three eastbound travel lanes and three westbound travel lane.

Project updates and information We share project updates, construction progress, and traffic advisory information on the @MyBrooksBridge Facebook page and Instagram page. You can also sign up to receive periodic email updates, including weekly traffic advisory information, at: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/PNeWTw3/MyBrooksBridge

68th Krewe of Bowlegs Coronation Pageant

 

The 68th Krewe of Billy Bowlegs Coronation Pageant as Captain Billy Bowlegs 67th, his Queen and his Honor Guard bid farewell and welcome the 68th Captain & Krewe. The coronation took place at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on June 10, 2023 at 6:30pm.

Catch up with last year’s 2022 coronation here

67th Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival – May 18-22, 2023

 

Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival is an event that takes place the 3rd weekend in May in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It kicks off with a Children’s Meet & Greet on Thursday night. On Friday evening, the Krewe of Bowlegs sail up to The Landing park and attempts to negotiate a surrender of the city with the Mayor, who puts up a good fight, and they promise to return the following day The city celebrates its victory with a fireworks show. On Saturday, Capitan Billy Bowlegs returns with the entire Krewe of Bowlegs to capture the city and then pass out booty (beads) to the crowd. After a day of rest from the pillaging, Capt Billy & his krewe sails off on the Blackhawk ship float during the Torchlight Parade on Eglin Parkway on Monday evening.

This is the replay of the parade on May 22, 2023.

2023 Commencement Ceremony at Northwest Florida State College

Watch the live stream of the Northwest Florida State College 2023 Commencement Ceremony from Raiders Arena on May 6, 2023.

10AM Ceremony for the presentation of the following: Certificate, AAS, AS, and Bachelor’s Degree Graduates

2PM Ceremony for the presentation of Associate of Arts (AA)

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