GREENVILLE, S.C. (Oct. 3, 2005) — Michelin North America Inc. is supporting “Operation Wheels of Freedom,” a goodwill and entertainment program for the U.S. military, in cooperation with car makers, media and automotive performance sponsors.
Operation Wheels of Freedom will take a fleet of nine American-made performance vehicles to six U.S. military bases this year for special autocross and high-speed driving demonstrations.
Operation Wheels of Freedom will visit bases where troops are either readying for deployment or returning from tours of duty. These are: New River Marine Corps Air Station and Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Jacksonville, N.C.; Guantanamo Bay Naval Air Station, Cuba; Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas.
The idea behind Operation Wheels of Freedom was to develop an “edutainment” program—one that was fun, entertaining and offered a respite from the tension of everyday military life—but that at the same time delivered messages and applicable skills that would help keep soldiers safe on the streets around the base and back home.
Michelin is providing Michelin- and BFGoodrich-brand tires along with technical and logistical advice to the program. Many of the vehicles in the program, like the Dodge Viper, Ford Mustang and Cadillac CTS-V, are outfitted with Michelin or BFGoodrich tires as original equipment, Michelin said.
“We want our service people to know that we are all supporting them while they serve our country,” said Tom Chubb, vice president of marketing for Michelin Automotive Industry Division.
Michelin said this program reflects its long-standing relationship with the U.S. military. Other activities include:
* Providing tires for all of the armored wheeled vehicles and the majority of the medium and heavy tactical wheeled vehicles currently operating in Iraq.
* Providing more than 275,000 military tires to support U.S. troops in the Afghan and Iraqi theatres.
* Providing logistics for all aircraft tires for the U.S. Navy, delivering tires anywhere in the world in 48 hours to support the Navy's military air fleet.