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WACO, TX (November 6, 2023)—The UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter’s flight path is unsteady as the Waco University High School JROTC cadet attempts to not only fly through the skies but also land the $5.9 million aircraft. It was one of many pieces of U.S. Army simulated aviation equipment that the cadets enjoyed when learning about different military careers.


“Cadets were given the opportunity to get a bird's eye view of some of the aviation equipment and aerial platforms used on active duty,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 (retired) and Waco University High School Senior JROTC Instructor Matthew Francis. 


The Flight Simulator Vive Virtual Reality System allowed cadets to fly a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter through nine different checkpoints. The cadets learned about the different controls on the chairs and how they operate. The simulation also allowed the cadets to experience the kind of training potential pilots undergo at Fort Rucker, Alabama.


Cadets also experienced the UAV simulator, going on missions and operating many different aircrafts.


“It highlights the current equipment that today's highly trained soldiers are using in

the Army, all while providing them with a sense of accomplishment and adventure of an aviation operation,” said Sergeant First Class Christian Flores of the U.S. Army National Guard Recruiting Station located in Waco.


Flores said that the Apache Helicopter simulator is designed to teach the cadets teamwork while flying.


“The Apache simulator is a team-based scenario where you sit inside the shell of the Apache. On the inside, you are the pilot flying the mission, and if you sit on the outside black chairs, you are the pilot's gunner,” Flores said.


As the gunner, cadets experienced the mini-machine gun, a virtual reality-based gaming simulation where cadets donned headsets to simulate flying and shooting enemy targets.


Also included with the simulated equipment were two touchscreen monitors cadets to search different military occupational specialities, education benefits, and pay scales using the

career navigation link.