UNO AFROTC Detachment collaborates on Huey landing and recruiting event

  • Published
  • By Cadet Faith Grelk and Cadet Zachary Bowen
  • Air University

Students, staff, alumni and cadets gathered to watch the unprecedented landing of an Air Force UH-1N Iroquois “Huey” helicopter Nov. 10 on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus.  

The landing was a collaboration between UNO’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 470 and the 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malstrom Air Force Base, Montana represented the integration of service and education.

“The opportunity to showcase our incredible Air Force mission to our supportive UNO team has been great, and the turnout today shows the passion this school has for their military members and veterans alike,” stated Lt. Col. Jessica Stewart, Detachment 470 commander. “UNO is consistently recognized as a military friendly institution, ranking in the top 25 colleges and universities in Military Times ‘Best for Vets’ four out of the last five years.”

Onlookers crowded the perimeter of the locally famous “Pep Bowl” as the unmistakable sounds of the Huey’s rotor blades echoed between buildings. Once on the ground, the crowd moved around the aircraft, took pictures and connected with the four-person crew.  

Students from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds came to observe and learn about the Huey’s mission in the United States Air Force. This opportunity gave the crew and cadets the chance to answer and talk about any questions that bystanders had regarding the helicopter or service in the armed forces.  

The crew took nine cadets on an incentive flight over Omaha and the nearby Platte River.

“The helicopter ride itself was amazing. It was nothing like anything I’ve ever been able to do,” said Tom Sutherland, a freshman cadet who started his AFROTC career only a few months ago.

Cadets were selected from AFROTC Detachment 470 and Detachment 465 of the University of Nebraska Lincoln as well as the Creighton University Army ROTC Black Wolves Battalion, representing a joint force partnership and showcasing camaraderie between the organizations.

Cadet Matthew Turack, another incentive flight participant, said “I think the Huey visit in general helped to keep cadets motivated and shows that ROTC isn’t just work, but we have awesome events happening as well.”   

Not only were the students and onlookers having fun, but the crew stated how much they enjoy participating in these types of events as well.

“When you’re flying and showcasing what we get to do every day, it’s a fine line between work and play,” said Tech. Sgt. William Sines, 40th Helicopter Squadron combat mission aviator.  

This event inspired cadets and students alike to continue to work hard and set aspirational goals. An Air Force asset on campus was an eye opener for many, serving both as a connection to the operational Air Force and an incentive to join and commission through the AFROTC program.