A new commander took charge this month at MacDill Air Force Base, overseeing one of the base's major tenants — the 927th Air Refueling Wing.
MacDill, the sprawling waterfront property at the tip of the South Tampa peninsula, is the center of a larger military community —and provides a local economic impact estimated at some $5 billion a year.
The recent installation of Col. Douglas Stouffer is a good time to test your local military IQ. Take a stab at the 15 questions below and you'll get a better idea of how the military fits into life in Tampa Bay.
One. MacDill recently evicted Kermit and Miss Piggy, nicknames for hurricane-hunting aircraft operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Why?
A. Politically incorrect humor on the part of Muppets characters
B. To avoid liability in the event future hurricanes strike the peninsula
C. To make room for more aerial refueling jets.
D. The hangars are in such disrepair they had to be torn down.
Two. Florida was among the top five states for defense spending in 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Place them in order.
Three. Brandon Russell of Tampa was leader of an online neo-Nazi group when he was arrested and sentenced to five years on bomb-making charges. Where was he serving in the armed forces?
A. Coast Guard
B. Air Force Reserve
C. Florida National Guard
D. Navy Reserve
Four. A homeless woman once hid out on the super-secure MacDill base. How did she get in?
A. Flipped a garbage can over to climb a fence.
B. Swam ashore.
C. Hid out in a linen truck making deliveries to the base.
D. Pretended to be a driver for Hillsborough Area Regional Transit.
Five. Which top commander was onboard when a giant cargo plane scheduled to land at MacDill touched down instead at tiny Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Islands?
A. Colin Powell
B. James Mattis
C. George Patton
D. Norman Schwarzkopf
Six. The U.S. Coast Guard has operated out of Bayboro Harbor in St. Petersburg since 1924. One of the largest ships there now is a 175-foot-long navigation tender with the motto, "The Wrecking Keeper." What's the ship's name?
A. USCG Cutter Outback
B. USCG Cutter Appleby
C. USCG Cutter Marlow
D. USCG Cutter Hooter
Seven. Hillsborough County, the fourth-most populous of Florida's 67 counties, has more military veterans than any of the others. How many veterans call Hillsborough home?
Eight. KC-135 Stratotanker jets, 19 of them stationed at MacDill, refuel the Air Force fleet in mid-air. Who was president when these planes first rolled off the assembly line?
A. Herbert Hoover
B. John Kennedy
C. George W. Bush
D. Dwight Eisenhower
Nine. MacDill hosts Central Command and Special Operations Command, two of the U.S. military's nine big "combatant commands" worldwide. Only one other location has two. Where is it?
A. Colorado Springs, Colo.
B. Stuttgart, Germany
C. Hickam, Hawaii
D. St. Louis, Mo.
Ten. MacDill has figured in a number of books and movies through the years, including which of these?
A. By Order of the President, a novel W.E.B. Griffin.
B. Strategic Air Command, a film starring Jimmy Stewart.
C. Shadow Warrior, a novel by Tom Clancy.
D. All of the above.
Eleven. With Tampa Bay as a boundary, MacDill requires new construction to stand at least 11.5 feet above sea level and takes measures to stop beach erosion. How many miles of shoreline does MacDill have?
Twelve. The Marine Corps' 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion practices beach landings at its headquarters on Gandy Boulevard in Tampa. What creature, popular among amphibian battalions, is featured on the official decal of the 4th?
Thirteen. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, U.S. Central Command formed a coalition of some 50 nations who rotate representatives into Tampa to live here. Which of these is not one of the coalition countries?
Fourteen. Florida offers military specialty license tags. List them in order of popularity (Hint: They don't match up with the size of the service).
B. Air Force
D. Coast Guard
Fifteen. Who is MacDill Air Force Base named for?
A. Col. Leslie MacDill, World War I aviator.
B. Frances Emroy MacDill, former governor of Florida.
C. Maj. Dale MacDill, World War I aviator.
D. Lt. Col. Glen MacDill, World War II-era test pilot.
Answers: 1. C; 2. VA, CA, TX, MD, FL; 3. C; 4. A; 5. B; 6. B; 7. A; 8. D; 9. B; 10. D; 11. A; 12. C. 13. D; 14. Marines, Army, AF, Navy, CG; 15. A
What’s your military IQ?
15 right: Wear those mirror aviator sunglasses proudly. You're in command!
10 to 14: You're on your way to the promotion board.
5 to 9: Down and give us 20.
Less than 5: Get a good attorney. You might avoid dishonorable discharge.