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Staff photo, Brooke Self
From left to right, Executive Producer Louise Wu, Ransford Doherty, Alexandra Manea, Hector Bustamante, Community Relations Officer Renita Wickes, and Col. Kurt Pinkerton gather in one of the mock Afghan villages set up for combat training at the U.S. Army National Training Center at Ft. Irwin.

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Hollywood movie and TV actors tour Ft. Irwin NTC

New show seeks to engage military community

STAFF WRITER

Fort IRWIN • Five actors who’ve appeared in a number of TV shows and movies toured the National Training Center, meeting with Brig. Gen. Terry Ferrell and Col. Kurt Pinkerton on Sunday.

Hector Bustamante, Ransford Doherty, Thom Tran and two other cast members from the web series “Caribe Road,” met with military officials on base and signed autographs at the Fort Irwin Exchange center.

Both Ferrell and Pinkerton discussed the base’s history with Hollywood productions and expressed that they hoped for more in the coming future.

The group toured a mock Afghan village set up uniquely to train soldiers for combat.

“There’s no installation in the world that has the capability and size that we have,” Pinkerton explained and said Army training at Fort Irwin is very realistic to the combat experience in Iraq.

“We prepare the soldiers here for their worst day in the country,” he said.

Ferrell said he was a fan of most of the movies and television shows available about military life but mentioned his No. 1 pet peeve with these type of shows was how the uniform is worn.

“If you’re going to show a soldier, make them look like a soldier,” he said.

When asked by Doherty about a military story that he thinks hasn’t been done in TV or movies, he responded the U.S. military’s initial operations into Iraq.

“That story needs to be told,” he said.

“Caribe Road” is a new web series in its first season and was created by Bustamante as a passion project with hopes to raise awareness of military action.

Bustamante and Doherty both appeared in the 2005 movie “Hostage” starring Bruce Willis. Bustamante is Colombian born but grew up in New York City where he worked as a corporate investigator before he began acting.

Actor Thom Tran is known for being the face of an avatar character on “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and was an Army soldier and staff sergeant for eight years, serving one year of combat in Iraq.

Actors Mike Pfaff and Alexandra Manea were also present at the tour.

Caribe Road has partnered with the 63rd Regional Support Command Yellow Ribbon Program and said they hope to bring positive awareness and support to the troops and their families.


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