FORT RILEY, Kan.--1st Combat Aviation Brigade hosted military spouse orientation flights on Dec. 5, on Fort Riley, Kansas. The event improved spouses’ understanding of Army aviation while taking the precautions necessary during COVID-19.
“The purpose of it is to be able to show spouses of the aviation brigade Soldiers what their loved one does. Therefore, they get an appreciation for Army aviation, so we can retain aviation personnel,” said Col. Bryan Chivers, commander of the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade. “Ultimately, we're building the team and strengthening our Families, thereby making a better, stronger, and more effective Soldier.”
1CAB Soldiers are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection amidst the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in America. Temperatures were checked and hand sanitizer was applied before entering the hanger. Masks were mandatory for all participants. High-trafficked areas such as chairs, tables, and aircraft seats were sanitized between the intervals of spouse groups.
“We took special caution to make sure that we were preventing the spread and protecting our people in the surrounding area because we don't want to contract the virus here,” said Chivers.
With all the safety measures and guidelines in place, spouses reported that their time spent with the aircraft before and after the flight was exciting and educational.
“It was really fun,” said Blake Madsen-Davila, a 1CAB spouse. “I normally hate flying in airplanes, but it was really fun, and I enjoyed it. It was a lot better than an airplane.”
Madsen-Davila said that it was fascinating because she can finally grasp what her husband talks about when sharing about his day at home. She has a better frame of reference after her husband showed her the different systems that he works on and flying in an aircraft firsthand.
In addition to spouses getting to see what their Soldiers do throughout the day, Chivers hoped they would walk away with an even deeper appreciation of their Soldier’s profession.