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Murray State University, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade developing partnership


Ten representatives from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell visited Murray State University’s campus recently and the event included a Blackhawk UH-60M helicopter landing on campus, as well as a special commissioning ceremony for two Murray State graduates.

The brigade’s visit was part of a larger initiative to develop a partnership between Fort Campbell, Murray State and the city of Murray. The goal was to help students and community members gain an understanding of what happens at Fort Campbell while finding opportunities to support the community as well as the University’s ROTC program.

“When you’re inside the gates of Fort Campbell, it seems very restrictive and exclusive, but we’re trying to actually show, ‘Hey, we’re not only part of the community, but we’re here to give back anything that we can,’” said Lt. Col. Kenrick Smith, who oversees an aviation support battalion on the base.

Dr. Brian Van Horn, associate provost for regional academic outreach at Murray State University, met with Lt. Col. Kenrick Smith, 96th Aviation Support Battalion Commander, and Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Lindsey of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Campbell (Photo Provided)

Dr. Brian Van Horn, associate provost for regional academic outreach at Murray State University, met with Lt. Col. Kenrick Smith, 96th Aviation Support Battalion Commander, and Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Lindsey of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Campbell (Photo Provided)

The helicopter was available for viewing by University and community members, and pilots were accessible to answer questions. The brigade hoped the event helped ROTC students by allowing them to see equipment they will use in the United States Army. The Blackhawk UH-60M is the newest model and is considered a utility helicopter, which means it can carry troops or equipment while also being used for Medevac rescue.

Members of the brigade also participated in a commissioning ceremony in the Collins Industry and Technology Center to honor Murray State graduates Donovan Alexander and Adam Phelps, each of whom were commissioned to second lieutenant, United States Army. Alexander is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky. and earned a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in military science.

Phelps, who is from Calvert City, Ky., received his degree in telecommunications systems management with a minor in military science. He was also named a Distinguished Military Graduate.

“Murray State University and Regional Academic Outreach are proud of the many soldiers who have graduated from Murray State’s ROTC program and have gone on to be highly successful officers in the United States military. We’re pleased to have the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade here in Murray to visit our fine institution and program,” said Dr. Brian Van Horn, associate provost for regional academic outreach.

The brigade’s visit also included a meeting with Mayor Jack Rose to discuss potential collaborative projects with the city of Murray.

The 101st Combat Aviation Brigade is part of the 101st Airborne Division, which is the Army’s only Air Assault Division, and operates under the command of Col. Craig Alia. The Fort Campbell military base, which spans both Kentucky and Tennessee, is home to approximately 24,000 active-duty soldiers and their families.

“The communities have been so good to Fort Campbell, to our families. We deploy, and our families are here, and they have been taken care of by the communities. So even though, in the military, we move around a lot, we feel at home. I have a family, I have two daughters, and we love living here,” said Col. Smith.

From MSU Communications


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