The University of Richmond’s Spider Battalion kicked off their 2009 spring semester with Blackhawk training and a 20-minute flight above the Richmond campus. University President Ed Ayers, as well as University Provost Stephen Allred, were guests on the flight.

The Blackhawk helicopter landed outside the president’s house, where cadets used the helicopter to conduct static load training in preparation for their spring field exercise. Static load training means that the cadets practice loading and unloading the helicopter while wearing and carrying full battle equipment. The goal is to load all 10 cadets into the Blackhawk in under two minutes. Thanks to the training, the cadets were able to successfully load the helicopter in less than two minutes during their spring field exercise.

“The helicopters helped us simulate a combat insertion,” said Cadet Riannon Blaisdell-Black. “They set the conditions for a weekend-long training exercise.”