ASU ROTC cadets venture Ever into Danger during annual FTX

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashley Thrash
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

Angelo State University Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets completed a field training exercise hosted by the 17th Training Wing, April 22.

While at Forward Operating Base Sentinel, the cadets were given various scenarios throughout the exercise to put their knowledge of small unit tactics and first aid to the test. This exercise allows cadets to get hands-on experience in a safe training environment while simultaneously managing the simulated stress of an ever-evolving combat zone.

The partnership between ASU AFROTC and the 17th Training Wing has kept the FTX alive since 2013, when the exercise was created. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise was put on pause. After a two year break, the annual training is back up and running, once again allowing ROTC cadets access to the vital hands-on training opportunity that Goodfellow provides.

“These are our future leaders,” said Chris Hernandez, 17th Training Wing chief of wing plans and programs. “These are the young people who are going to keep our Air Force number one in the world…we rely on them to keep us number one and if we don’t invest in them now then we’re setting ourselves up for failure in the future.”

During the exercise, Goodfellow instructors, members, and students ran the cadets through a series of operations and mock combat scenarios to prepare for the final capstone event, testing the cadet’s knowledge and reactions.

The cadets also took on different roles such as medics, squad leaders, and other various leadership roles to protect the FOB from the opposing forces.

Tyler Stokes, Detachment 847 cadet wing commander, spoke about the importance of being flexible, especially in uncomfortable situations. Stokes recalled the words of character Rocky Balboa: “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”