Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station - When you walk through the blast doors located far inside this mountain it’s like stepping into a battleship encased in granite. Completed in 1966, the fortress can be sealed off from the outside world and sustain life on it’s own for months if necessary.
Built during the the cold war, the facility remains a command and control center for everything from world wide communications to outer space object detection and tracking. Like the hundreds of thousands of Armed Forces Service Members performing duties on a daily basis around the world, the mountains systems experts, operators and defenders come from a wide array of service and operational backgrounds.
This coming week, American300 Tours returns to Cheyenne Mountain with special guest Shannon Ritch, of Prescott, Arizona as part of the nonprofits commitment to the 721st Mission Support Group to support professional leadership and resiliency development programming.
Ritch, who is known for his MMA fighting career first joined the Army as a Civil Engineer, working primarily on facilities heating and ventilation systems. After his initial enlistment he separated from service and obtained civilian ratings which eventually placed him on assignment providing personal security for many of our countries top officials in Baghdad, Iraq.
Throughout his military and contract security years he also managed to build an impressive MMA fighting resume. “ I took on fights for supplemental income at first. In the beginning there were no weight classes in the MMA fighting rings, so I had to fight anyone they put in front of me.” says Ritch, adding, “I was the smallest kid in school and bullied from an early age. I took those lessons or beatings and turned them into a 24 year career as a world champion MMA fighter.”
This past week Ritch, announced his retirement form MMA cage fighting after a heavy weight battle with Shonie Carter, in Phoenix, Arizona on the eve of Super Bowl 49. “It was time to call it... to tap out as a fighter and focus my energies on my role as a coach and trainer of the next generation of MMA fighters,” said Shannon to members of the media who had crowded around him after the fight at the Phoenix Zoo.
“Shannon is one of those rare individuals who just doesn’t know the word quit, he’s fought more battles then just about anyone in MMA history,” says Robi Powers, founder of American300 Tours and host of the ‘Service with Honor Never Quit Series', adding “We spent Super Bowl Sunday inside the mountain with a Everest expedition leader whose job it is to make sure folks don’t quit on the side of the world’s tallest mountains and now we’re coming back with ‘the Cannon’ who personifies dedication and never quit ethos."
For more information on American300 Tours resiliency programming visit: www.American300.org
For more on Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Ritch visit: www.shannonritch.com
American300 is a all volunteer nonprofit dedicated to supporting Department of Defense master resiliency programs. The nonprofit conducts resiliency visits with valued guests who engage and embed in units over the span of several years on a quarterly basis. No federal endorsement of nonprofit or sponsors is ever intended or implied - American300.org