A live fire demonstration Saturday afternoon capped off the well-attended Armed Forces Week program at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Those who were able to secure tickets to the demonstration, the first of its kind at APG in 21 years, weren't disappointed by what they saw.


Firearms, artillery and tanks were all on display for visitors to look at up close and have their questions answered, but the big treat was to watch much of the ordnance in action.

An Abrams Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Stryker Mobile Gun System and MATV were among the fighting equipment that paraded before the spectators prior to the demonstration.

Then, the tanks and other equipment got down to business on the firing range, shooting off projectiles at old vehicles and wooden targets, much to the delight of the crowd.

The ground shook as many of the tanks fired, and the noise from the shots and the striking of the targets reverberated through the crowd. APG officials distributed earplugs to the visitors prior to the demonstration.

Post officials had offered 1,500 free tickets for the demonstration on a first come, first served basis. The tickets were gone within hours when they were made available two weeks earlier, officials said. Judging from the size of Saturday's crowd, most of them appeared to have been used.

Saturday's event also featured another Heroes on the Homefront ceremony, this one honoring Joe Ondek, of New Freedom, Pa.

Ondek received his Heroes on the Home Front" Certificate of Appreciation for his work at the Aberdeen Test Center, where he served as chief of the facility. He also has taken thousands of pictures of the wildlife on APG.

Ondek received his certificate from CECOM commander Maj. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell and CECOM Sgt. Maj. Kennis Dent.