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Tech ROTC Cadets Learn Black Hawk Helicopters

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 6:12 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A presence of military helicopters, better known as “Black Hawks,” are expected to fly over Lubbock this weekend. The exercise is a training run for the Red Raider ROTC Battalion program, with the help of soldiers from Ft. Bliss in El Paso.

“We’re offering cadets from all ranges, from senior down to freshman-level, the opportunity to get some actual hands-on training with the flight crew,” said Texas Tech senior Joshua Wilbanks, who has worked his way up to become a Battalion S9 within the program.

Cameron Parr, who serves as the program’s battalion commander says in addition to flying, this weekend’s exercises include first aid training, weapon-handling and other forms of tactical practice.

Wilbanks says while the sounds of the choppers can’t be avoided, there’s no cause for alarm.

“I know they can look pretty scary, and they’re not common around here around town, so when people see them, they’re like ‘Oh, no! What’s going on?’, but they’re really just equipment and troops carriers,” he said.

Parr states this training is much-needed, especially since many can potentially be flying in the same units - in places much more dangerous than West Texas.

“A lot of us are going to be in combat zones later on in our careers,” she said. “So having the experience now will definitely ease that a bit when we go and actually ride Black Hawks (while) oversees.”

Wilbanks encourages prospective Tech students to look into joining the Red Raider Battalion.

“Texas Tech Army ROTC is available to anybody who meets the requirements to enlist in the military and join in the military service,” he said. “But in your first year in the program, it’s available to anybody.”

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