Archive for Friday, May 2, 2008

Preparing to spread their ‘wings’

KU Army ROTC cadets train with Blackhawk helicopters

Jason Cha, 19, a freshman from Shawnee, joins other Kansas University ROTC students spending Thursday afternoon at the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The expedition taught them about the Blackhawk helicopter, with a unit from Topeka helping to take students on a short ride. A friend shot a picture of Cha and a Blackhawk taking off.

Jason Cha, 19, a freshman from Shawnee, joins other Kansas University ROTC students spending Thursday afternoon at the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The expedition taught them about the Blackhawk helicopter, with a unit from Topeka helping to take students on a short ride. A friend shot a picture of Cha and a Blackhawk taking off.

May 2, 2008

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Army ROTC Blackhawk Exercise

Michelle Dick, Kansas University junior and Army ROTC cadet and Josh Urban, KU Army ROTC instructor discuss the Blackhawk Exercise that occurred Thursday at Lawrence Municipal Airport. Between 50 and 60 cadets learned about the helicopter, how to load and unload it, safety issues and other helicopter operations. The exercise was conducted by members of the 1-108th aviation unit from Topeka. Enlarge video

Just as combat boots and helmets are essential to U.S. Army troops, so is the Blackhawk helicopter.

Josh Urban, a Kansas University Army ROTC military science instructor, knows firsthand the importance and versatility of the helicopter after serving in Iraq last year with a Topeka aviation unit. Urban said the Blackhawk serves as a primary means of transportation in Iraq to avoid dangerous ground transport.

On Thursday, Urban introduced more than 50 Kansas University Army ROTC cadets to the helicopter at the Lawrence Municipal Airport as part of a spring exercise. Members of his Topeka unit, the 1-108th AVN, conducted the exercise.

"Familiarity with the aircraft and safety components of the aircraft and unloading and loading is something the average trooper does on a regular basis in Iraq and even in the states," he said. "So it's good to train with it here before they get to their jobs."

Jace Rowe, chief warrant officer 2 of the Topeka unit, said learning about the Blackhawk and working in aviation in the Army gave cadets more options when they choose a career near graduation. When he was a cadet in the KU Army ROTC program several years ago, he said he knew he wanted to become a pilot.

"It's a lot of fun," Rowe said. "Flying a helicopter, it doesn't get much more fun than that."

Michelle Dick, a junior from Leavenworth and a medic in the Topeka Army Reserves, said she is considering becoming a Medevac pilot and was excited to ride in the Blackhawk helicopter for the first time.

"It just kind of reaffirms I want to do this," she said. "Being a medic makes you feel more connected to being a Medevac pilot and to see the rewards going into this profession."

Blackhawks weigh about 16,000 pounds. They can carry 11 troops and about 8,000 pounds of external loads. The Blackhawk is versatile because it's smaller than other aircraft such as the Chinook helicopter, and can go more places for assault or general purpose use. The helicopters have also been used to carry and drop water over forest fires.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

Were there any RPG's or other small weapons fired at them to make this exercise realistic?

acoupstick 7 years, 3 months ago

Have you seen the new army commercials featuring the flying deathtrap boondoggle also know as the Osprey? Not the best recruiting tool, I think.

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