‘Gate runner, gate runner!’ Air Force training exercise gets a little ... weird
A life-sized teddy bear made a mad dash through a security gate at Sheppard Air Force Base.
That much was caught on video, as several people chuckled off camera, and one told the giant bear to “go on the sidewalk.”
“Like most of you, I had a good laugh at the video posted here of the big yellow bear at Sheppard’s main gate,” George Woodward, with the Air Force’s 82nd Training Wing public affairs office, told Task & Purpose, a military website. “It’s also, believe it or not, deadly serious. Think about what we ask of our military and civilian security forces airmen. They spend long hours in the heat of the day and the dark of the night defending our bases. We expect them to be aware and ready every moment to respond to any imaginable situation, and possibly make a split-second, life-and-death decision on the use of force.”
The fuzzy intruder can be seen leaking fluff balls out the unzipped back of the bulky costume as it waddles toward, then past the gate, only pausing as it approached a guard stand to taunt the security team with some pretty on-point gyrating dance moves. You know, for an adorable plush bear.
“Gate runner, gate runner!” a voice calls out in a radio communication. “Through the main gate and toward the gas station.”
The video was posted in a Facebook group for airmen, noncommissioned officers and senior noncommissioned officers on Monday. The exercise apparently took place Sunday night, according to Woodward’s statement.
Someone in the group even included a blow-by-blow diagram of the incident in the comment section, showing that the bear approached from the south along Avenue E, before taunting the security team, breaching the front gate in the exit lane and ultimately being “apprehended” by a base security officer near the intersection of Avenue E and First Avenue.
The video cuts off shortly after the bear gets absolutely smashed by a security guard’s form tackle along the sidewalk.
By Friday morning, the video had been viewed more than 400,000 times and shared more than 4,000 times.
Many of those who commented on the post weren’t surprised at all that the hijinks went down at Sheppard, which is in Wichita Falls, Texas.
“If it were anywhere other than Sheppard, I’d be a little surprised, but after four years there, I’ve learned this is completely normal,” Tim Phillips commented.
Someone has even started selling “The Sheppard Bear” memorabilia online.