Throughout the past year, Det 009 cadets participated in a variety of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) activities. These activities included bowling nights, paintball, scenic hikes, and even an online MWR event over Zoom. The MWR events allowed cadets to spend time together and build friendships.
Last year, Det 009 held two bowling events at Sacred Heart University, one during each semester. These events were particularly exciting, as the cadet wing has quite a few skilled bowlers among its ranks. As expected, the competition was rather intense on both occasions. Cadets routinely rolled strikes, often multiple times in a row. One cadet managed to score four strikes in a row, dashing any hope of victory for his fellow cadets. For cadets not wanting to engage in fierce bowling battles, Sacred Heart also has a rock climbing wall with four levels of varying difficulty. All cadets were able to reach the top of the 30 foot wall and view their fellow wingmen from a new perspective. Overall, Det 009 cadets enjoyed their time at the bowling nights and would like to thank Sacred Heart for offering their facilities to Det 009.
When cadets aren’t bowling or rock climbing at Sacred Heart, they can often be found paintballing. Such was the case on the morning of March 1, 2020 when nearly half of Det 009 travelled to Extreme Paintball in Waterbury, CT. With funding from the Skyhawks Organization, a student group at Yale which supports the AFROTC program, Det 009’s first paintball experience went off without a hitch. Cadets were able to practice their small unit tactics in preparation for Field Training, a rigorous boot-camp-style program of weapons training, survival training, deployment skills, aircraft indoctrination, and physical conditioning that takes place during the summer between sophomore and junior year.
Although Det 009 cadets do enjoy the intense action of a paintball competition in the woods, many cadets also enjoy the scenic views that the forest has to offer. On a sunny day in the fall, TSgt Hunt and TSgt Lozano led Det 009 cadets on a hike at Sleeping Giant, located near the Quinnipiac University campus. The group hiked up the trail to the top of a mountain where cadets overlooked a sea of orange-leafed trees that seemed to stretch all the way to the ocean. Once at the top, cadets snapped photos and took in the scenery as one senior cadet shared a favorite poem from memory. The hike down the trail was equally enjoyable as the fall breeze kept the heat at bay. At the bottom of the mountain, the group gathered around for a picnic and listened to TSgts Hunt and Lozano as they shared their wisdom gained from their time spent in the Air Force. The hike was a fantastic way for cadets to enjoy the Connecticut scenery and build relationships with both their fellow cadets and the cadre.
This year, with the emergence of COVID-19, in-person MWR events have been temporarily suspended. Fortunately, Det 009 cadets have been able to overcome this obstacle and still managed to host MWR events online. During one such event, cadets joined a Zoom call together and played video games through an online platform. Thanks to some creative planning, cadets were able to spend time together even when spread out across the country.
While the future of MWR during the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain, something that will always remain consistent is Det 009’s commitment to providing exciting opportunities for cadets to spend time with each other and build friendships. Stay tuned for more MWR updates in the coming months!