Coast Guard Jayhawk Descends on Alaska School
Part of “Fly ‘em High: Helicopters’ Role in Alaska” campaign, students at Academy Charter School in Palmer Alaska were visited by Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter
US Coast Guard, February 04, 2015 - PALMER, Alaska by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert - Whether they’re behind the controls of a sophisticated aircraft or soaring through the air and saving the day as a superhero, the ability to fly is a common dream for children.
Thursday, Jan. 29, students at Academy Charter School in Palmer, Alaska, had the opportunity to speak with the real-life superheroes of Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak when an MH-60 Jayhawk crew descended onto their soccer field for a visit.
The visit was part of a special educational intensive called “Fly ‘em High: Helicopters’ Role in Alaska” arranged by Sean Reilly, a seventh-grade teacher at the school and it gave the students an up-close look at a variety of helicopters including the Jayhawk.
“When I think of helicopters’ place in Alaska I think right away of the Coast Guard,” said Reilly. “The Coast Guard is like the guardian angel over Alaska. I’ve been a commercial fisherman as well as a teacher, so I wanted my students to know the role of the Coast Guard here in Alaska.”
The flight crew’s visit began with an impressive entrance as the MH-60’s rotors kicked up a flurry of snow and children lined the fences of the soccer field to watch the helicopter land. Lt. Frank Wolfe, a pilot at Air Station Kodiak, and his crew then guided the students through a quick hands-on tour of the aircraft before heading into the warmth of the classroom for a question-and-answer session with Reilly’s students.
“The students seemed really open and interested in the stories we shared with them,” said Wolfe. “The Coast Guard doesn’t get to do these sorts of visits as often as we used to, but it was a great opportunity for us to come out for these students. It’s great to reach out to the communities and especially to have a chance to educate kids about the kinds of things we do in the Coast Guard.”
The students were eager to learn about the flight crew and their responsibilities and asked about everything from survival gear to favorite missions. A few of them even had questions about how they might also someday serve as Coast Guard flight crew members.
“It’s just been unbelievable that they would do this for us,” said Reilly. “Sharing their stories and making it real lit a fire under my students and maybe inspired them to think about seeking a career in the Coast Guard. They’re amazing.”
Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk 6005 ( US Coast Guard )
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