Monday, November 21, 2016

How USX climbed to the Summit of Mt. Everest, set records, and stayed connected at 29,000 feet by leveraging Inmarsat Government

21 November 2016

On May 24, 2016, the USX Team successfully journeyed to the summit of Mt. Everest to raise awareness for our Nation's veterans coping with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the struggle of suicidal ideations. We were able to stay connected with our supporters and media outlets across the world through the use of Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) and satellite phone services.
By connecting our PCs, tablets, and smartphones to the BGAN terminal, we could surf the internet, check emails, post photos, update Facebook status, and conduct phone and video interviews with the media. It also allowed us to stay in touch with our social media team and gain publicity for PTSD and the challenges veterans face after returning home. 
Inmarsat Government enabled us to connect with our followers, reporters and sponsors, and keep them updated on this incredible journey as it unfolded in front of us. Without the BGAN terminal, we would have had to wait until after-the-fact to share our amazing stories and pictures. Tommy Ferguson, our communications director, was able to remain in contact with operations back home and provide critical information related to the mission status.  
The portable satellite phone allowed us to communicate at length with our publicist, Amy Summers of Pitch Publicity and thanks to her efforts we were able to connect with over 3 billion viewers through news and social media outlets such as Good Morning America, ABC News, CNN, and Facebook. We were able to express that PTSD is still an all too common issue with our returning veterans and we need to do more. Chad Jukes marine buddy and fellow veteran committed suicide while Chad was climbing Mt. Everest, and this provided evidence to how important this mission is and that it affects not just the veteran, but their friends and family as well. 
Inmarsat Government provided this unique capability to share in real-time our challenges and triumphs as setbacks were overcome and milestones were reached. We were able to talk with our families and loved ones back home, which allowed us to comfort them while they worried endlessly for our safety. On May 8th we even managed to call our mothers and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day from the other side of the world, on the edge of the tallest mountain in the world. 
Thank you Inmarsat Government for your commitment to keeping us connected through our journey.

Tingri, Tibet. 13 May 2016. USX Communications Director, Tommy Ferguson, pictured in a Tibetan rice field using the BGAN satellite system to send pictures back home to their social media team in the United States. 

Everest Basecamp, Tibet. 24 April 2016. USX cofounder Harold Earls, pictured setting up the BGAN unit.

Monday, March 28, 2016

27 March 2016Colorado Springs, Colorado38.841 N, 104.811 E, 6,001 FT ASL      


Thank you for visiting ours site, but more importantly, thank you for caring.  US Expeditions and Explorations (USX) was founded with one thing in mind - Empowering Veterans to Inspire others through Adventure and Exploration.  For hundreds of years service-members and Veterans have been at the forefront of exploration and adventure.  We aim to continue that tradition through the spirit on the modern American warrior.  Your viewing of this page is indicative of your interest in continuing or supporting our endeavor.  For that, we thank you.  

USX is in the midst of launching a historic expedition.  Its our first.  Its bold and audacious and its exactly the type of endeavor we’re aspiring to take into the future.  USX is sending a team of Soldiers - past and present - to Mount Everest.  Yes, we know, Mount Everest has been climbed thousands of times and in hundreds of different manners, but what we’re doing is different.  Never has there been a combat wounded American Soldier on top of the world’s highest peak.  And never has there been a team comprised entirely of American Soldiers to set their sites on the roof of the world.  We aim to change that.  More important than “being the first,” we aim to make a lasting difference in the lives of Veterans by raising money and awareness for Veterans Mental Health.  

The statistics are staggering and devastating.  Hundreds of Veterans take their own lives each month and thousands more struggle with their mental health everyday.  While climbing to the top of the world will not solve the problem we know that our efforts will bring attention to an issue that is long overdue in being permanently addressed. We will make a difference.  

Why do this?  Why involve Veterans with adventure and exploration?  Two reasons.  First, history. The military and the world’s Veterans have always been involved with adventure and exploration.  The earliest Everest expeditions involved WWI Veteran George Mallory, an Artillery officer in the British Army.  He led the first reconnaissance and two subsequent attempts at the summit.  His attempts led way to Everest’s first ascent in 1953 led by British Army Colonel, John Hunt, selected for his leadership skills in adverse environments and liking to challenging missions. Dating further back, and looking at our own country’s history, CPT Meriwether Lewis and LT William Clark set off on the Corps of Discovery mission to map and explore the American West.  Their accomplishments are renowned nationwide.  Even an American president, Teddy Roosevelt, sought out adventure and exploration.  After his days as commander of his famous regiment of Roughriders and his two presidencies and even after taking bullet to the chest while campaigning for his third term as president, he decided to set out on a perilous journey to map the final major tributary to the Amazon.  The military and its Veterans are natural selections choice for exploration and adventure.  

The second reason is not as obvious, but its still apparent - the “intangibles.”  Many people have skills and experience.  Many people have drive and ambition.  But very few have the dedication, the sense of duty and the selfless sacrifice to commitment to an endeavor larger than themselves.  Some people pursuit adventure for passion, others for fame and money.  A service-member, a Veteran, pursuits adventure for the sake of a greater cause, and does so willingly and without reservation.

The future is bright.  Our mission is bold.  And Everest is high.  But why waist time with goals that are not bright, bold and high?  USX will not.  So please, follow us, climb with us, support us and take part in something special. 
 Empower Veterans.  Inspire Others.  


- USX Leadership