By Captain Brian FrancisMay 2, 2019
Radford, Va. - Cadets from Virginia Tech and Radford University Army ROTC recently deployed to their spring field training exercise on the 25th to the 27th of April aboard Virginia National Guard Blackhawk helicopters flown by Richmond's 2-224th Aviation Battalion.
For the flight crews, these were training flights, but for the cadets, it was true experience. Cadets were flown from the Virginia Tech campus to the site of their training exercise at Radford Army Ammunition Plant's New River Unit in Dublin, Virginia. The helicopters made trips all morning and into the early afternoon transporting cadets, and providing most with their first experience in an Army aircraft or a helicopter.
During the early afternoon on Friday, storms blew into the area and flights temporarily halted until conditions improved. Once they did, the Blackhawks and their crews were back in flight transporting the last groups of cadets to their training destination.
On the ground, ROTC Cadre members supervised the unloading and loading of cadets safely and quickly making the most of the flight time available. Once they landed at the New River Unit, the cadets trained using infantry tactics to develop leadership skills, and prepare themselves for commissioning as second lieutenants in the United States Army. In groups of 35, the cadets practiced small unit maneuvers and trained on land navigation while being assessed in their leadership competencies and attributes.
ROTC cadre coordinated the aerial partnership with the Virginia National Guard to provide the Cadets with exciting, memorable, and realistic training.