Jesuit Hosts Elite Marine Corps Helicopters

Posted December 17, 2023 / Last updated December 23, 2023

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The MCJROTC and led by Lt. Col. Craig Himel ’91, recently hosted an impressive aviation showcase. Two state-of-the-art vehicles from Helicopter Marine Light Attack Squadron 773 Det A, which is stationed at the Naval Air Station New Orleans in Belle Chasse, captivated onlookers. The USMC AH-1Z Cobra Attack Helicopter and the USMC UH-1Y Utility Attack Helicopter soared over Will Clark Field, demonstrating the formidable capabilities of Marine Corps aviation.

The flight crew included members with a range of ranks: one Lieutenant Colonel, two Majors, one Captain, two Sergeants, and one Corporal. Leading the flight was Major Matthew Jarrell, who piloted one of the UH-1Y helicopters. The landing of these advanced aircraft on school grounds posed unique challenges, including the need to navigate around trees and power lines. For safety, particularly given the residential surroundings, the helicopters performed their landings and takeoffs separately. The precision and skill demonstrated by the pilots during this maneuver were a testament to their expertise.

Jesuit’s MCJROTC was the first in the nation’s history, and the visit was a reflection of the school’s unique and longstanding relationship with the United States Marine Corps.