Army ‘birds’ take ROTC cadets to training

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New Mexico Military Institute ROTC cadets practice embarking and disembarking a Chinook helicopter Thursday morning at Stapp Field on the NMMI campus. (Photo by Lisa Dunlap)

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New Mexico Military Institute cadets participating in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) spring training at Fort Stanton, Lincoln County, were transported to their training site Thursday morning with style, by two US Army helicopters.

Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters from Fort Bliss Army Base near El Paso, Texas, landed on Stapp Field around 10 a.m. Thursday morning to take the NMMI cadets to the Fort Stanton campsite, where they were to meet groups ROTC from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Cadet Command Sgt. Major Katelynn Corbin of Canton, Ohio, said the four-day field exercises in the field will include training in “tactics, land navigation (land navigation), basic survival skills and how to survive out there in the desert. .

“There are going to be about 229 cadets in total, between us and the other schools,” she said.

A sophomore at NMMI, Corbin said this training is preparation for the more rigorous 28-day summer camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Passing skills tests at summer camp is required to complete the ROTC program, she said.

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Part of the current training included learning about helicopters and the proper way to embark, disembark and handle their equipment while en route.

Corbin said about 60 NMMI cadets are part of the ROTC program, which allows cadets to become U.S. Army officers while earning their degrees.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or to reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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