News: 3rd CAB hosts Stephens County Middle School
Story by Sgt. William Begley
HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. – The Soldiers of 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade hosted students and faculty of the Stephens County Middle School from Toccoa, Ga. on a tour of Hunter Army Airfield May 15.
The enthusiastic students got a firsthand experience at the engagement skills trainer where they happily watched a group of Soldiers engage a virtual enemy. After that, they were able to view every aircraft the brigade flies: an AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the CH-47F Chinook helicopter and the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout helicopter.
Continuing in the spirit of giving back to the local community, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tara Bradley, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, gave the students a hands-on look at a CH-47F Chinook helicopter. Bradley is a native of Parkesburg, Pa., and a Chinook pilot.
“It’s been awesome,” said Bradley referring to the visit. “The students are very inquisitive, and they have some great questions. One of them asked me a really interesting question about aerodynamics and lift, which is crazy to me because they’re in eighth grade. It was a tough question.”
Later, the tour took the students to the air traffic control tower on HAAF. There the students got to see what life is like for real life air traffic controllers.
David Leenman, eighth grade teacher, Stephens County Middle School, said the school takes a tour every year with the outgoing eighth grade class, and students consider it one of the highlights of a trip which also visits nearby Tybee and Jekyll Islands.
“The Soldiers have been wonderful and interacting well with the students,” said Leenman. “The students want to listen too because the Soldiers have cool guns and cool aircraft that they want to show to the students. This visit has captivated their attention more than any other place that we have been. You can’t sit in the cockpit of an aircraft like these and not be captivated.”
One of the students attending had a particularly large interest in the visit. Danyel Seeley comes from a Family that is rich with military service.
“My dad was a Marine, my grandfathers were in the Army and the Air Force, and I have uncles in both the Army and Navy,” said Seeley. “I’ve got military history all around in my Family.”
Unlike many young people, Seeley said he knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up.
“I want to be a Marine sniper,” said Seeley. “I’ve always really liked weaponry and the thought of taking someone out from long range that is threatening my country sounded exciting to me.”
Before the tour departed, the students were addressed by Lt. Col. Jason Roncoroni, commander, 2-3 GSAB. The commander advised the students to think about their future.
“I hope you guys learned something about what we do here in aviation,” said Rocoroni. “I also hope you had an opportunity to talk with some of the Soldiers. Everyone here has their own story about why they joined the Army. Every one of them is unique. Hopefully what you got to see is that you have the opportunity to do a lot of fun things in the Army while you’re doing your job and serving your country.”