Winter FTX: Part I
Posted: February 16, 2007
Cadets were then divided into four groups to move through a series of stations, including: familiarization with theAH-64D (Apache) and UH-60 (Blackhawk), 21st CAV OPFOR demonstration, and AH-64D flight simulator. During the aircraft familiarization blocks, cadets received a briefing regarding the specifications and capabilities of both the AH-64D and UH-60 helicopters. Afterwards, cadets were allowed “hands on” time with the aircraft to include sitting in the cockpits and cargo compartments and even climbing on top of the Blackhawk. Aviation NCOs and pilots were available to answer any questions cadets had.
As the only unit in the world responsible for the training of AH-64 units, the 21st Aviation employs many role players to serve as OPFOR. The OPFOR station allowed cadets to become familiar with the operations of the 21st Cavalry Brigade and its OPFOR team. Several contractors and NCOs were on hand to familiarize cadets with OPFOR capabilities including small arms attack simulation, radar station simulation, and Surface-to-Air missile simulation. Cadets were shown how modified vehicles and sophisticated electronic equipment are used to create an enemy force capable of engaging whatever aviation unit is being trained by the 21st Cavalry.
Finally, cadets had the opportunity to become familiar with the only AH-64D simulator system in the world. The system is capable of simulating scenarios involving multiple aircraft. Civilian contractors and army pilots taught cadets to search for, acquire, and engage ground targets. Some cadets even had the opportunity to try out their flying skills in the flight simulator. To be continued… (See Winter FTX: Part II)