ROTC prepares cadets with helicopter training course

By Lyndsey Patterson
On October 22, 2012

ASU Army ROTC cadets took board of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to participate in a field training exercise Friday morning.

ASU ROTC cadets have the opportunity to participate in a two-day field training experience once each semester in order to develop and apply the skills they are being taught in the classroom. Last weekends field training was at a location entitled AO Deerhead, which is a private piece of wooded terrain on the outskirts of Jonesboro.

The field training experience (FTX) composed of day and night land navigation courses, as well as squad tactical exercises that required cadets to make leadership decisions and work together to solve problems while in realistic field scenarios. Cadets experienced field craft, hygiene and medical classes, and set up a fire and outdoor sleeping areas. In addition cadets learn battle tactic skills by leading squads through STX lanes, which include practical scenarios such as Recon, Ambush, and Movement to Contact.

Senior Caitlin Marshall is an MSIV level cadet, and will graduate from ASU and commission in May 2013. This was her fourth time conducting field training, and she feels it is a vital part of cadet development.

Field training is important for ROTC cadets because it teaches them basic knowledge that they can build upon with the purpose of enhancing their skills toward becoming a future Army officer of the United States military.

Cadets who took part in the FTX were picked up at 10 a.m. Friday by the Arkansas Army National Guards 77th Aviation Brigade, and flew to their FTX destination in Black Hawks. Each Black Hawk has a crew of four, and is able to transport 11 troops. With the ability to fly 140 mph, Black Hawks have been used for U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Many cadets had memorable moments riding on the Black Hawks that will probably stick with them the rest of their lives. The experience created great morale and comradeship among the cadets, Marshall said.

Another purpose of the field training events is to prepare cadets for the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). The LDAC is an evaluated month long training session that dictates whether cadets will be able to continue with the ROTC program and commission as an officer. This important assessment is held at Ft. Lewis in Seattle, Wash., and takes place during the summer between a cadets third and fourth year of ROTC. Field training events like this weekends help cadets to learn necessary military skills.

For sophomore cadet Walter Kincade, this weekends FTX was his first opportunity to put the skills hes been learning in the classroom into practice.

Field training gives us the opportunity to get hands on training and use the skills we learn in the classroom. We are able to learn from cadre and higher-ranking cadets. This weekends event allowed us to step up in leadership positions, show what we have learned and acquire the training we need as future second lieutenants.

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