Fort Sill Air Defense Artillery Brigade attempts to make history with weather balloon launch

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 1:47 AM CDT
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FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - The Fort Sill Air Defense Artillery Brigade came off Post on Friday for an attempt to make history. The goal was for their weather balloon launch to reach the highest altitude in the state.

The crowd, made up of soldiers and civilians, made their way to Charles Green Field as Fort Sill’s Air Defense Artillery Brigade prepared for the launch with high hopes.

“So, we got a really big balloon and the goal was to get it to 130,000 feet, which would be absolutely awesome,” said BC Jordan Henrickson, Charlie Battery 5-5 ADA. “That, I believe, would be the highest that a high-altitude balloon has gone in Oklahoma. So that’d be perfect.”

The launch experience was new, but exciting for the soldiers, it being a first launch for many of them.

“We just came out here to do something fun and build morale within the unit and the battery,” said Sgt. Angelica Carona, Charlie Battery 5-5 ADA. “I was very proud to jump on the team with them to get it done.”

After the initial release, the weather balloon got caught in some trees, but after a few minutes it managed to break free and continue to rise in the sky.

The flight should last around eight hours and is expected to land near Paducah, Texas. The balloon is collecting video and data for the brigade to analyze while in flight, allowing them to track the location and altitude every minute.

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