Family and friends clapped with excitement and joy as Army Black Hawk helicopters approached BYU campus during a ROTC event.
Three Black Hawk helicopters made three runs and landed on Cougar Field Thursday afternoon to transport cadets to Camp Williams, about 20 miles away, for training. An ROTC email said this was the first time in recent memory Army helicopters had landed on campus. Cadets said they were excited about it.
“Once a semester we do what’s called a field training experience where we go out to Camp Williams in Bluffdale and we spend the semester,” ROTC cadet Travis Hall said. “Sometimes it’s one night, two nights, or three nights, and we just kind of review everything we’ve been working on as an ROTC program throughout the semester.”
Families and friends gathered around the grass with their phones and cameras. Once the helicopters landed on the grass, the cadets lined up and marched toward them.
Austin Wright, a cadet from Loudoun County, Virginia, rode in the helicopter and shared his experience. “Riding in a Black Hawk is an eye-opening experience to what types of things a career in the Army can entail,” Wright said. “For me, it was exciting to be able to experience things that most people are not able to do.”
ROTC operations officer Roland Griffith said another thing that makes the event so special is the capability of the Utah National Guard. “They can come and do this for our cadets and really let them have this incredible experience. Because what we strive to do in Army ROTC is to give them this incredible learning experience.”
The event was also special because the cadets had so much support from BYU administration and senior leadership in allowing them to land on campus, Griffith said.