Wheeler Soldiers Aid In Jungle Training

Aircrews assigned to the 25th Aviation Regiment at Wheeler Army Air Field provided air assault support to soldiers Oct. 24 in the Jungle Operations Training Course (JOTC).

Air assaults use helicopters to transport soldiers into an operational area. The exercise allowed the JOTC class to experience the complexities of movement through a jungle environment during their multiple-day, live-fire training exercise.

“Adding the air assault capability to training adds realism needed for the units to understand all the elements that come together in the jungle environment,” said Staff Sgt. Oscar Salmeron, a JOTC instructor.

Training at JOTC includes waterproofing equipment, utilizing field-expedient communication methods, performing jungle-specific medical treatment and conducting jungle patrolling tactics.

“The thing to understand about the jungle is the mobility aspect,” Salmeron explained. “The helicopters facilitate entry and exit points which change the ability of the unit to navigate the jungle better.”

The open nature of JOTC training also provides soldiers and Army aviators with the perk of gaining diverse aviation experience.

“The unit leadership participating in JOTC have the ability to develop their own missions to include deciding how they would like to use aviation support,” said 1st Lt. Caitlin Withenbury. “This benefits us because we never see the same mission twice.”