MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Eleven East Carolina University honor students toured Cherry Point Nov. 1 as part of a program offered by the university.
The students visited Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2 and Marine Transport Squadron 1 where they were able to view unmanned aerial vehicles and see inside VMR-1’s HH-46E Sea Knight rescue helicopter, dubbed “Pedro.”
“We’ve never done a trip like this involving the military before,” said Kindal Shores, a faculty member with the university. “The students were really showing an interest in the military so we arranged this trip and made it happen.”
ECU offers a program for their honor students that provides an opportunity to explore and learn outside of the classroom. Shores said all the students in attendance were volunteers who wanted a first-hand look at the military.
“I felt honored that the Marines took time out of their day to show us around,” said Emily Brooks, a junior year nursing student. “It’s been a great thing to see.”
The first stop on the tour was VMU-2, where the students got a close-up look at the RQ-7B Shadow and additional equipment involved in its employment.
“The main reason I came was because we were going to see some UAVs,” said Matt Earley, an engineering student in his freshman year at the school. “They explained everything about them perfectly and it was pretty cool. I absolutely loved it.”
Brandon Watson, a junior studying mechanical engineering, received a glimpse into his potential future when he sat in the pilot’s seat of an HH-46E for the first time.
“I signed up for this trip because I am looking into joining the Navy,” said Watson. “I saw some corpsmen at VMR-1 and thought it was really cool because this could potentially be a part of my life in the future.”
The students had a great time and they are looking forward to participating in similar events in the future, said Shores.
“When we first got here it was a bit intimidating but the Marines really broke the ice and made us feel welcome,” said Shores. “Now that we understand how this kind of thing works, we are definitely planning on doing something like this in the future.”