Army Aviation

1st “Air Cav” Takes to the Skies Over Texas Motor Speedway

Photo By Spc. David Dumas | Troopers from 2nd Battalion, 27th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division conduct a flyover during racing events at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, September 23, 2023. The ceremony was accompanied by static displays of the U.S. Army’s tactical vehicles as well.

Story by Sgt. Elliot Alagueuzian
1st Cavalry Division

FORT WORTH, T.X. – The Lone Star State has always had a deep appreciation for both its rich military heritage and the thrilling world of motorsports. When these two worlds collide, it creates a spectacle that captures the hearts of Texans. One such breathtaking moment occurred when Troopers of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division conducted a stunning flyover at the Texas Motor Speedway on September 23rd, 2023. This unforgettable event showcased the skill, precision, and unity of the brigade’s aviation Troopers while paying tribute to the bravery of those who have served.

“It’s definitely very cool.” 1st Lt. Elizabeth M. Haas former platoon leader of Bravo Company, 2-27 Air Cav said. “I grew up going to air shows, so being able to see our Air Cav aircraft flying around and to be a part of something like this makes it truly special.”

Organizing a flyover involves meticulous planning and coordination between the First Team and the Texas Motor Speedway. The Air Cav’s aviation units, equipped with UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters, undertook extensive preparations to ensure the flyover would be executed according to plan.

“There is always a lot of deliberate planning and rehearsals that go into a flyover,” Capt. Zachary Blevins, company commander of Bravo Company, 2-27 Aviation Regiment said. “We need to make sure we are all on the same sheet of music, depending on how many aircraft are involved or if there are other organizations involved, but it’s all rewarding in the end.”

The helicopters, iconic symbols of the division’s mobility and versatility, were adorned with the brigade logo. The crewmembers, skilled aviators and dedicated Troopers, underwent rigorous training to synchronize their movements and ensure the safety of the operation.

“It is a process of learning how to crew a Chinook such as knowing the systems and knowing how this thing actually flies to get it up in the air. “Sgt. Devon Council, flight engineer for Bavo Company, 2-27 Air Cav said.

On the day of the flyover, the atmosphere at the Texas Motor Speedway was electric. Thousands of fans waited in anticipation for the main event.

As race car drivers positioned themselves next to their vehicles, the national anthem began, and the crowd’s attention shifted to the sky. In perfect formation, the UH-60 Black Hawks soared overhead led by the CH-47 Chinook.

The collaboration between the 1st Cavalry Division and the Texas Motor Speedway highlighted the unity and pride that Texas has for its military. It demonstrated that, beyond the thrill of racing, Texans hold their military traditions close to their hearts. The flyover at the Texas Motor Speedway celebrated the spirit of patriotism and the enduring bond between the people of Texas and their military. The deafening applause and cheers from the crowd echoed the deep respect and gratitude Texans hold for their military.

“It’s quiet because of the national anthem but then all of a sudden there’s just applause and cheer in the audience.” David Hart vice president of media relations at Texas Motor Speedway said. “They see it coming from far away and as the helicopters get closer the noise gets louder and louder.”

The 1st Cavalry Division’s flyover at the Texas Motor Speedway was not just a display of precision flying and military excellence; it was a powerful reminder of the deep respect and appreciation that Texas has for its military heritage. As the helicopters disappeared into the distance, the echoes of their powerful salute lingered in the hearts of those who witnessed this breathtaking display of patriotism.