ARLINGTON, Va. – Now U.S. troops in some remote areas will have access to Internet communications, HD TV, gaming systems and even surround sound thanks to a new ‘USO in a Box’ program.
The program converts the expandable Tactical Operation Centers (TOC) used by the military into unmanned USO centers that can be trucked or heloed into austere operating environments. This allows the USO to deliver services and support to military serving in remote regions.
Working with Michigan-based aviation support company, AAR, the USO created the first three USO in a Box units for delivery to troops in Afghanistan. Easily setup to be operational in 20 minutes, the mobile nature of the USO in a Box allows for quick movement from one location to another.
The first three units left Fort Belvoir, Virginia in March and were delivered to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in wait for final delivery. First to receive the portable boxes were troops at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank, Afghanistan. They were scheduled to receive their special delivery on Memorial Day.
“As the American people pause to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety and security of our nation, it is important to also support our troops who make significant sacrifices every day,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president. “While we can’t build a USO center everywhere the troops serve, the USO in a Box program allows us to deliver much of the goods of a fixed center.”
Each unit features wireless Internet access, two Dell ‘ruggedized’ laptop computers, three 23-inch HD flat screen televisions, three Xbox® 360 video gaming systems and two voice-over-Internet phones. The movie theater area features a 42-inch HD flat screen television with a DVD player and Dolby® surround sound. Each unit also has a self-contained diesel generator and climate control system with heating and air conditioning.
For more information on the USO and its programs, visit www.USO.org.
Click on the video below to watch as the USO in a Box readies for departure from the U.S.
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