The 2nd Assault Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade hosted a "Boy Scouts Night" for local Boy Scout Troop 88 and Cub Scout Pack 89 at K-16 Air Base April 20. Their Families were also invited to take the tour and participate in the activities.
The tour kicked off with a dinner and a video presentation at the K-16 dining facility to introduce them to Army aviation. The eager scouts were then divided into three 'patrols' to efficiently go through the round robin tour.
The first of the three stages included a static display of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and various weapon systems such as the M-240 machine gun, the M-9 semi automatic pistol, the M-4 rifle, and the .50 caliber machine gun.
The second stage consisted of a Blackhawk simulator, in which the children were able to fly on a mission using real-life flight footage of the Korean landscape. They also had the opportunity to utilize aviation night vision gear while in the simulator.
The third stage focused on flight planning and weather briefings.
During the tour, the Boy Scouts received the necessary tutorials in order to receive their aviation merit badge. However, the badge was not given, it was earned. The Boy Scouts were required to go through flight planning and flight simulation as well as other instructional portions.
In addition to obtaining their merit badges, events like these provide the scouts exposure to the inner workings of army aviation, said Alan Tokumoto, the den leader for Pack 89 from Yongsan.
As for the scouts, some enjoyed the flight simulator, while others enjoyed the weapons, but for John Stoll, a Boy Scout from Troop 88, the best part of the tour was the Blackhawk itself.
"My favorite part was getting to see the Blackhawks up close," Stoll said. "They let us sit inside and you could see all of the parts that the pilots have to work with."
Although the tour was entertaining, it was also educational to the officers and enlisted Soldiers engaged.
"Events like this one are fun for the officers and noncommissioned officers even though it takes a lot of work to put them together," said Lt. Col. Mathew Lewis, 2-2nd Avn. commander.
This event also allowed Soldiers to teach and share their experiences with others, which benefits them in their military capacity when it comes time for training their own Soldiers, Lewis said.
"In addition to helping the scouts, the program also serves as a great community outreach program," said 1st Lt. Kelsey J. Riise, a platoon leader and the coordinator for the event. The base's isolated location makes it challenging, but helping pull members of the community in and show them what we do here makes it worthwhile.
"It's not every day that these children get to sit in the gunner's seat of a Blackhawk or learn about the various types of weapons we use in the Army," Riise said.

Page last updated Tue May 11th, 2010 at 22:25