Currahees facilitate local 5th grade class field trip
December 17, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), in conjunction with educators from the West Creek Elementary School in Clarksville, Tenn., facilitated a field trip for the school's 5th graders here Dec. 10.
"We were approached by our partners in education, they arranged this field trip for us," said Sherri Hamby, the 5th grade lead teacher at West Creek Elementary School. "There is a lot of math and science involved in shooting guns and in flying helicopters."
Fort Campbell regularly engages the local community through community outreach programs such as partners in education, which include field trips, static displays and demonstrations, to strengthen relations with the local community.
"Normally, we send Soldiers over to the school to read to them and interact," said Capt. Brian Dyer, rear-detachment commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "We wanted to incorporate our piece and show them what we do during the day." said Dyer.
At their first stop, the children were shown a static display of an M119 105mm Howitzer, a small-arms weapon display where they were educated on the importance of weapon safety, and were shown the uniform that is worn by Soldiers in the field.
The children were then bussed to a 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., hangar where flight personnel showed and let the kids explore a static UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.
For the last stop on their field trip, the students were bussed to The Sabalauski Air Assault School where they had an opportunity to observe Soldiers rappelling and view the obstacle course.
"We started off with our obstacle course, showing them (the children) the nine different obstacles that Soldiers (in the school) navigate on a daily basis," said Staff Sgt. Zilvinas Lapelis, a senior instructor at TSAAS here. "It helps with confidence. A lot of people, regardless of age group, have a fear of heights and by showing them (how to do) these obstacles (it) proves it can be done."
After the demonstration at the air assault school, the children returned to their school with an increased understanding of what it means to be a Soldier.
"Every soldier here has been wonderful," Said Hamby. "They have not talked over the kid's heads, they've explained everything. I really wasn't sure what to expect when this was arranged but it's been absolutely wonderful."