By Lars Dalseide | September 15 2012 09:13

Surveying the surrounds at Albuquerque International Airport

The Manzano Mountain range outside Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico - Southeast of Albuquerque rests the Manzano Mountains. Not as massive as the Sandias, but an impressive range nonetheless and our central point of focus upon landing yesterday afternoon.

One thing that jumps out for this Easterner is the lack of green. Of course there isn't any green ... we're in the desert after all. But as one local pointed out, there are still plenty of transplants who defy the climate to spend an tremendous amount water, money and time for a patch of grass.

Military planes on the tarmac at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Upon hitting the runway, we're welcomed to the city with a plethora of military aircraft via Kirkland Air Force Base. Huge carriers, fleets of helicopters and a squadron or two of Ospreys.

A Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey begins take off from Kirkland Air Force base in Albuquerque, New Mexico

For those of you who don't know, Ospreys are one of those nifty creations classified as a tiltrotor aircraft. Basically, it takes off like a helicopter and cruises like a turboprop plane. First introduced in 2007, they've seen action in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kirkland Air Force Base welcome center

Soon enough we were at the gate. Baggage gathered, rental car located and hotel found.

Competitors and staff were scattered through the hallways. Each anxious in anticipation of the coming events. Tactical Competitions start at 8:00 am local time ... a few hours from now. The National Police Shooting Championships open for business Monday morning.

Pictures, scores and stories to come ... look out.

Southwest gate at Albuquerque International Airport

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