By Amanda RavensteinJanuary 7, 2019
The Webelos 2 Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 78, Lincoln, Nebraska, visited Fort Riley Dec. 28. They got to fly in the helicopter flight simulators and take a tour of the Custer House.
Webelos 2 den leader, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen Gonifas, Company G, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, Nebraska Army National Guard, said it was the first time he took the Scouts to a flight training facility like the one on Fort Riley.
"I just wanted them to see what we do on a daily basis," he said. "To get a little bit of an experience of what it's like to be in the Army or the National Guard and to see a little bit of what we do in aviation."
The boys were split into two groups. The first group toured the Custer House while the other group split up between the UH-60 Black Hawk and the AH-64 Apache simulators. After lunch, the groups switched and took their turn at the other activity.
While in the simulator, the Scouts were given the option to have the simulator with or without motion. The motion added more realism to the experience as they flew around Fort Riley. Several of the youth performed well, landing the aircraft on the flight line while others crashed while attempting to move in the virtual space.
"I think they're still just sucking in so much information," said Russell Barger, scout leader. "I'm assuming it's pretty cool because they're not saying anything -- that's not a bad thing. I'm thinking they are really enjoying it."
Webelos 2 is the last year in Cub Scouts before they transition into Boy Scouts or out of Scouting, he said.
"So, they'll be getting their Arrow of Light award at the end of March or April and that will be the end of their time in Cub Scouts so, this is the last big thing they will do," he said.