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Black Hawk helicopters land at ASU

April 16, 2008

A pair of unarmed UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters made two trips to the ASU Tempe campus April 17 to pick up Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) cadets who will be participating in a joint field training exercise in Flagstaff through the weekend.

The pair of helicopters were on the ground for about three minutes as 20 cadets jumped aboard the Black Hawks with their gear. The scenario is scheduled to play out in reverse on Sunday, April 20, when cadets, returning from their field exercises, will disembark from the helicopters at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.

Cadets from all Arizona ROTC campuses – Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – are scheduled to take part in the joint field training exercise at Camp Navajo, in Bellemont, just outside of Flagstaff. The site is used by all branches of the U.S. military for maneuver training. At the field training exercise, cadets will demonstrate their land navigation skills, locating a known-point at night, as well as battle drills.

In Tempe, the Black Hawks will land on the fields at the Student Recreation Complex (SRC), 400 E. Apache Blvd. The helicopters used in this weekend’s training exercise are from the Arizona National Guard’s Alpha Company 2-285th Air Assault.

This is the second time in recent memory that a military helicopter is scheduled to land on the ASU campus in Tempe. In February, a Black Hawk helicopter landed on the Student Recreation Complex fields for a training exercise with members of the Desert Rangers, part of ASU's Army ROTC.

The Department of Military Science at ASU was founded in 1935 and is located in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. There are 148 cadets, freshmen through seniors, who are members of the Sun Devil Battalion at ASU.

“In Flagstaff we’ll train together on different skill levels; our leadership skills will be evaluated” says Chad Norman, a senior scheduled to graduate next month with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Norman holds the rank of Cadet Captain in the ROTC and is the Public Affairs Officer for this training exercise.

“I would like to get into a civil affairs unit, to help rebuild societies across the world or help re-establish a government in a war-torn country,” Norman says.

Upon graduation, Norman, will be commissioned in the military. His goal is to become an officer in the military intelligence branch.

There are two ROTC at ASU – Army and Air Force. The Air Force ROTC – Detachment 025 – is home of the Flying Devils, nearly 100 cadets enrolled in classes in the Department of Aerospace Studies. First founded in July 1948, Detachment 025 has had a long history of excellence in commissioning outstanding officers while continuing to change in order to meet the needs of the Air Force.

This weekend, while the Army ROTC is participating in its training exercise in Flagstaff, the Air Force ROTC will participate in a Warrior Challenge field skills competition at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. The Challenge is a friendly competition among the Air Force ROTC cadet wings from all Arizona based detachments: Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, Embry-Riddle and ASU.

Both Army and Air Force ROTC were originally housed in Old Main, at the heart of ASU’s Tempe campus. They each will hold commissioning ceremonies the afternoon of May 8 after commencement. More information about graduation and the commissioning ceremonies at