Air Force ROTC Cadets Participate in Field Training Day at SJAFB > Air Combat Command > News
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, North Carolina —
Cadets from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University participate in a field training day at Seymour Johnson, April 21, 2022.
Field training gave cadets hands-on experience led by U.S. Air Force service members who offered guidance and created a learning environment of exploration and growth. The training is part of Seymour Johnson’s partnership with NC A&T, as part of grassroots recruiting efforts with historically black colleges and universities.
“Many ROTC cadets don’t grow up in military families or around bases, so this was an amazing opportunity for them to see a facility, the mission, and what life might be like if they chose to pursue a commission in as an Air Force officer,” said 1st Lt. Sara Loveless, junior executive officer of the 4th Fighter Wing.
Arriving at the base, Colonel Kurt Helphinstine, 4th FW Commander, greeted and briefed the cadets.
“The base commander briefed us on international relations and told us about some of the things he wished he had known when he was our age,” said Christina Shelton, NC A&T ROTC Det. 605 cadets.
After the briefing, the cadets toured the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight of the 4th Civil Engineer Squadron, where they received classroom instruction in small unit tactics and hands-on training on the M4 carbine. Cadets also had the opportunity to explore EOD equipment and learn more about the professional field.
“My favorite part of the course was when my peers put on the EOD suit and ran around doing drills,” said Cadet Khalil Eatmon, NC A&T ROTC Det. 605.
Next, the cadets moved on to field training where they applied classroom instruction in small unit tactics. During this event, teams of cadets moved between the barriers, covering each other and communicating together to progress.
“There was a time constraint and although it wasn’t mentioned, we felt the pressure to act quickly,” Eatmon said. “It made me think of a real-world experience; am I moving correctly, am I going fast enough and will I fail my team? »
The small unit tactics part was the hardest because we had to communicate and use teamwork, Shelton added.
While in the field, the cadets also received training in assembling small shelter systems from the 4th CES. Once the tent was set up, the lieutenants and cadets gathered inside for a mentoring session.
“Holding these events gives cadets more information and experience before making decisions about their future careers,” Loveless said. “Cadets fill out forms listing jobs they would like to do in the Air Force while at ROTC, and their experiences at Seymour Johnson help them know what they might want to do in the Air Force. Additionally, these opportunities allow them to see how what they learn in the classroom applies to the Air Force and, in turn, makes them better equipped officers upon commissioning.
The cadets completed their training with a visit to the 333rd Fighter Generation Squadron where they had the opportunity to view an F-15E Strike Eagle and speak with those responsible for the aircraft and their mission.
Shelton said as a freshman, the experience allowed her to explore her career and got her thinking about what she might want to do in the Air Force once she gets there. would be commissioned.
“This experience focused on teamwork, which definitely helped us come together as a detachment,” Eatmon said. “Hopefully we can bring back some of the knowledge we learned here and enrich other cadets who weren’t able to take the training.