ROTC cadet patrolling on the Radar Hill Trail.

Air Force ROTC Hold Annual Training Exercise

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Combat tactics, rescue operations, and survival training.

22-year-old Cadet Cole Johnston organized the Mobility Exercise (MOBEX).
22-year-old Cadet Cole Johnston organized the Mobility Exercise (MOBEX).

Ohio University’s Air Force cadets spent Friday and Saturday on Radar Hill working on these skills as part of their annual Mobility Exercise, or MOBEX.

Cadet Cole Johnston, who is a senior, organized this year’s MOBEX. He says it’s a moral boosting exercise that tests everything the younger cadets have learned.

“Once a week the cadets have a leadership laboratory in which we test new skills that we teach them,” Johnston said. “This exercise takes all of the different lessons and combines them into one. And we put them to the test to try and see where they have grown as leaders for this semester.”

About 20 freshman and sophomore cadets from the Reserve Officer Training Corps, called ROTC, were tested by 17 enemy forces consisting of: Juniors, seniors, and Air Force cadre members.

Cadet Platek (carrying a sanitary backpack) and comrades rescuing injured people.
Cadet Platek (middle) and her fellow cadets take part in a rescue simulation during the annual MOBEX training.

But cadets aren’t only tested on existing skills but are also taught new ones.

“Over the weekend they are going to learn varies survival tactics such as starting a fire with the available resources in the surrounding area,” Johnston said.

“Or they can learn hostage situations in which they can have their hands tight up with duct tape or zip ties and how to escape from these situations. And then also we have water supply: So how to get water in areas where it might not be available.”

Eighteen-year-old Grace Platek is one of the younger cadets getting tested. She says the exercise is a good chance to bond more with her comrades and to make sure that she has developed the required skills.

“I’m excited. I’m a little bit nervous that I’m not going to remember how to do everything correctly. But I know that I have the other cadets help me through that.”

18-year-old Cadet Grace Platek.
18-year-old Cadet Grace Platek.

The survival tactics and field lessons in leadership are mandatory for every cadet.

And as nursing student Cadet Platek could apply the medical procedures she has learned in field simulations.

“We have a victim. We’re transporting him out. He is missing his bottom half of his leg. So we applied a tourniquet. And he is also unconscious…we’re going to carry him to safety.”

The Mobility Exercise is especially important for sophomore cadets because in the fall they’ll be juniors, in charge of training the younger cadets.

Cadets learn how to start a fire during the annual MOBEX training on Friday March 31, 2017.
Cadets learn how to start a fire during the MOBEX on Friday March 31, 2017.

“It shows us how much leadership qualities they’ve learned over the past two years in the program,” Johnston said. “The goal is to prepare the sophomore before they go off to their summer training called lead training. So it’s on use to prepare them the best we can.”

Students in the ROTC program will graduate OU with the rank of second lieutenant.

The Air Force ROTC has been at Ohio University since 1948 and has currently 34 cadets.

In addition to the Air Force ROTC program, there is also an Army ROTC program which has been on campus since 1935 and has more than 100 cadets.