Three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters visited campus and made a landing on the lawn in front of the Dunn Center.

Around 8:30 a.m., before the helicopters arrived, the cadets of the ROTC program participated in training exercises and prepared for the helicopters to arrive via an air movement.

Around 9:20 a.m., the black hawks then came in three and would transport a set number of cadets to their field training exercises for the semester and would return to get the rest of the cadets. 

Captain Walter Rausch, one of the ROTC instructors at APSU, discussed how the field training exercises are done twice a year, one in the fall and one in the spring.

Watch our interview with Captain Walter Rausch and footage of the flights below.

Rausch stated that the process starts with “planning it out at least 60 to 90 days and you would then coordinate with the aircrew and the campus.”

According to Rausch, the training starts off with rehearsals because it is what is done in the military before any operation. The cadets take an aircraft familiarization class and are taught basic standard operating procedures to enter and exit the aircraft.

Rausch stated that the cadets were in a position called “PZ Posture” which is “being prepared for the first to come in and load in the first series of equipment.”

According to Rausch’s personal experience with the Black Hawk events, he stated that he has done “two dozen air assault missions in combat and training-wise something similar over the last eighteen years.”

In regards to the safety of the exercise, Rausch states that safety is always a concern because “sometimes you hit bad weather and sometimes you will have hard landings.”

Rausch experienced a hard landing before, a scary experience, he says, but thankfully no one was hurt. 

The Black Hawk helicopter landing allowed the APSU community to experience the landing and departing of helicopter transportation.

This training regiment also shows what the program is for and how it is important for the ROTC and for anyone who plans to join the military.

The Black Hawk event will return sometime in Spring 2020 for another training exercise for the cadets.