DVIDS – News – Junior ROTC cadets get insight into 1st Heli Squadron mission

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — The excited chatter of 48 junior ROTC cadets from Charles H. Flowers High School filled the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Jan. 13, 2023.

The aim of the visit was to bridge the gap between just seeing planes and understanding how to get to the pilot’s seat – and having the students sit in a real one. The cadets began the day with a welcome from Maj. Bryant Davis, director of public affairs for the Air Force District of Washington, who encouraged them to learn more about different paths to heaven.

“The message we’re bringing to you is, ‘Fly planes, fly helicopters,'” Davis said. “Take advantage of this great opportunity because while it may seem out of reach, it’s actually much more achievable than you might think.”

Davis described options for becoming a pilot in the Air Force, e.g. B. attending the United States Air Force Academy or being commissioned by ROTC or the Officer Training School.

The cadets then rotated through three tactile stations, a static display of a UH-1N Huey, a virtual reality training simulator, and the flight equipment outfitting room.

In the virtual reality training simulator room, a series of VR stations lined a dark room. After the students put on headsets, they learned that this wasn’t a video game—piloting a helicopter over Washington, DC was more of a challenge than they thought.

For cadet-captain Denajah Spivey, who was selected this summer to participate in the 2023 Chief of Staff Scholarship Program for the Air Force’s private pilot program, her attempt at flying a helicopter opened up a new option.

“So far I’ve loved absolutely everything; I never really thought about flying helicopters before, but the first thing we did was go to the virtual reality simulators,” Spivey said. “Of course there are differences between flying a helicopter and flying an airplane, but either way, being in the air is something I want to do soon.”

Outside, the students sat in a real helicopter and took turns looking at the rows of instrument panels and taking a few selfies. Some students said they had never seen a helicopter up close, let alone one.

In the equipment room, students tried on a range of flight gear, including night vision goggles, and asked open-ended questions to the assisting aviators.

Representative of the first helicopter squadron Master Sgt. John Cover, 1st Lt. Cassandra Jehly and 1st Lt. Ty Davis helped the students really understand Air Force life by answering all questions about where they are from, whether they would like to be in the Air Force, and specific questions about pay.

First Lt. Ty Davis, a pilot, explained the parts of the helicopter to the students and said events like this are important to the future of the Air Force.

“Giving them perspective on our missions helps them focus a little more on the ‘why,'” said Lt. Davis. “When they finally get to see a portion of our mission and meet crews here, they may have that bridge built between their own ‘why’ and the ‘why’ of an Air Force mission, and there may be accessible mentors that they can find here.” hit.”

For Spivey, this insight strengthened her understanding of the Air Force.

“I definitely feel like I could see into the Air Force,” Spivey said. “Of course you see ‘ooh planes’ from the outside, but now that I can actually see what they’re doing from the inside and how certain groups work, I definitely will in the future.”

Our Air Force and Space Force seek to attract and recruit the best talent from diverse backgrounds to cultivate a high-performing and innovative Air Force that reflects our nation’s best, and events like this help achieve that goal.

Date of recording: 01/13/2023
Release Date: 01/25/2023 16:09
Story ID: 437217

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