LAWRENCE – If you see several Black Hawk helicopters near the University of Kansas campus Thursday, don’t be alarmed – they’re here to pick up KU Army ROTC cadets as part of a training exercise.
Seven Kansas Army National Guard UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters will land and take off from the Shenk Sports Complex, Iowa Street and Clinton Parkway, on Thursday, April 3, as part of a joint training exercise with KU Army ROTC.
“This training exercise is an exciting event for the cadets of the Jayhawk Battalion. Many of the cadets have never flown in military aircraft before, so this is an amazing opportunity for them and their leadership development. Where else can a student show up for class and be able to fly out to weekend field training straight from campus? We are very appreciative of all the support for this event from KU and the Kansas Army National Guard,” said Lt. Col. John Clark, assistant professor of military science.
At noon, approximately 125 cadets will march in full gear with unloaded weapons from the Military Science Building, 1520 Summerfield Hall Drive, to the sport complex.
The Black Hawks will transport cadets in two groups to Fort Riley for exercises, with flights departing at approximately 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The helicopters and aircrews are from the 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment, based at Forbes Field, Topeka.
Members of the media and public wishing to view the exercise are welcome to do so from the area adjacent to Parking Lot 218 on the south side of the sports complex, accessed via the intersection of Crestline Drive and Clinton Parkway. For their safety, visitors must stay off the field itself.
The KU Army ROTC program is home to cadets from not only KU, but also Baker University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City, Kansas Community College, MidAmerica Nazarene University, the University of Saint Mary and Washburn University.
KU is one of only 50 universities in the nation offering an ROTC program that represents all branches of the military.