110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Jul 5, 2013 - 10:25:26am
On Independence Day, while many people enjoyed cookouts, fireworks and celebrations, 34 Army National Guard (ARNG) Senior Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets embarked on an unprecedented ROTC Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency ("CULP") expedition to Guyana, South America.
While a roster of cadets was not available, some may be from Volusia County.
This landmark month-long trip, sponsored by the Florida Army National Guard (FLARNG), is the result of an outstanding collaboration between the FLARNG's State Partnership Program, United States Army Cadet Command (USACC), and the Guyanese Defence Force.
Although approximately 1,400 college Army ROTC students travel to more than 40 countries around the world each year, no CULP training mission has ever journeyed to Guyana, and never before has a State National Guard sponsored such an event.
During their month-long training adventure the cadets will trek extensively through this eco-adventure terrain by road, river, and air.
The five-day expedition includes Kaieteur Falls, the world's largest single-drop waterfall in the world — three times taller than Niagara Falls.
Cadets will experience total immersion into jungle survival as they attend Jungle Amphibious Training School ("JATS") — a jungle warfare indoctrination taught jointly by the Guyanese Defence Force and Brazilian Special Forces. The course will conclude with cadet-led teams procuring food, water, fire, and shelter in an intense multi-day survival exercise deep in the jungle.
Cadets will partner with GDF Officer Cadets in the remote outpost of Takama, where they will become proficient with the foreign military weaponry, share standards and values in an unprecedented Cadet Leadership Summit, and participate in an orienteering exercise on the wild savannah plains.
Lastly, cadets will participate in community and humanitarian outreach efforts while experiencing the culture of the people of Guyana.
"This will not be a 'lay by the pool' sight-seeing experience for these cadets," according to Maj. Peter Jennison, coordinator for the exercise. "It will be an extreme eco-adventure that will challenge them — body and mind."
Guyana is located in north-east South America near the equator, and bordered by Venezuela on the west, Brazil to the South, and Suriname to the East. It is a land of vast savannah, jagged mountains, and thick river jungle in a natural paradise that runs rich with culture from its vibrant peoples to its exotic tropical landscape.
You can follow the cadets on Facebook at "CULP Expedition Guyana 2013."
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