New Mexico Military Institute from a Hot Air Balloon


We have Bronco women’s volleyball coach Shelby Forchtner to thank for this breathtaking view of NMMI from the south as she took the photograph perched in a hot air balloon. One can see Hagerman Barracks as the largest structure on the campus of this military school. Just to the south of Hagerman, Lea and Willson academic halls face each other almost glaringly according to some long time faculty members. Cahoon Armory, where basketball and volleyball games are hosted, is located close to northwest tip of Hagerman Barracks.

The underutilized Daniels Leadership Center is just under the low flying yellow balloon you see in the picture. Another balloon is directly above Main Street or US285 which serves as the east border to the Military Institute which was functioning prior to New Mexico gaining its statehood. If you look closely, the Rappel Tower is located under this same balloon not too far from the Walgreen’s drug store. The institute has an exemplary rope’s course program and instructor whose name eludes me. We met this energetic young man, who is a credit to the school, when we attended a friend’s daughter graduation ceremony a few years back.

We believe the aerial picture was posted on a NMMI website or blog maintained by cadet Brandon Munoz. A friend of ours from Casper Wyoming, who watched the girl volleyball players win an incredible game 31-29 in a tournament game there, emailed us the picture.

Forchtner is an old school coach who does not believe in awards for participation or attendance. She maintains high standards and expectations for her players and rarely issues fake compliments or kudos for their efforts unless they are really deserving! It is no surprise that she won coach of the year and is highly respected by her players. I believe her husband also coaches baseball at NMMI.

Striking view of NMMI in Roswell from a hot air balloon
Striking view of NMMI in Roswell from a hot air balloon

3 comments on “New Mexico Military Institute from a Hot Air BalloonAdd yours →

  1. This reminds me of the record free fall jump made by Felix Baumgartner over the desert near Roswell. He had his picture taken with some NMMI cadets at Starbucks. I wonder if he had to worry about coming down anywhere near the path of a commercial jet or private plane for that matter? It would be hard to clear his descent with all possible air traffic. Maybe he just took his chances.

  2. Kim Kaiser of Vermont and Marilyn Oates from Michigan each had Wonderful descriptions of mass ascension balloon fiesta in Albuquerque,NM where 20 countries competed with the hot air balloons entries of each other.

    1. I worked around a June Frosch there for a little too long. She was jealous of having a lower status than faculty members. Thought her degree in library science was the same as advanced degrees in English, Biology, or physics.

      She spent about as much time complaining and gossiping as working. For some reason, she valued her opinion over those much more knowledgeable.


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