CWU News

Military helicopter transports CWU Army ROTC students

A Boeing CH-47 helicopter landed at Bowers Field, in Ellensburg, this afternoon to transport CWU Army ROTC cadets to their spring field exercise at the Yakima Training Center.

“It was about an hour-long process from start to finish,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Ackiss, CWU Army ROTC detachment commander and military science professor, about the precision landing, loading, and take-off procedure. “This is just another way for us to provide our cadets with as realistic training as possible, to help prepare them for actual Army operations.”

The Washington National Guard whirlybird came from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma.

“We’re fortunate to have a good relationship with the National Guard,” Ackiss said, noting his thanks to the National Guard for its assistance. “It was also a thrill for our cadets to get to fly in the helicopter, as it was the first time [doing so] for most of them.” 

In two shifts, the chopper took about 60 participating cadets to a drop-off location near the Columbia River. Over the course of the next three days, the cadets will march to a site near I-90 before returning to campus.

“They’ll be conducting patrols, and practicing other maneuvers, through Sunday,” Ackiss explained about the twice-a-year training. “And they will bivouac [camp] out under the stars.”

The twin-engine Chinook helicopter is primarily used for troop and artillery movement, along with resupply undertakings. Despite debuting in 1961, they remain among the heaviest lifting and fastest models in the United States’s military arsenal.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,

May 18, 2017