4th MEB firefighter detachment deploys Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Firefighter Lt. Eric Robb, alternate crew chief, Fort Leonard Wood Fire Station, shakes the hand of Spc. Mario Garcia, a firefighter assigned to the 562nd Firefighter Detachment of the 94th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, at a deployment ceremony Feb. 12.
Story and photos by Sgt. Kelly Malone
Special to GUIDON

A group of military firefighters from the 562nd Firefighter Detachment is bound for Romania following a farewell ceremony for the team where fellow Soldiers and civilian counterparts from Fort Leonard Wood’s fire station attended on Feb. 12.

The Fort Leonard Wood-based 562nd  Firefighter Det., part of the 94th Engineer Battaliion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, has deployed many Soldiers in support of operations in Southwest Asia, but this is the first time the unit has deployed any element to Romania.

The 562nd Firefighter Det. is scheduled to serve at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, also dubbed the MK Passenger Transit Center, near Romania’s Black Sea port town of Constanta.

“Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base is now one of the transit points for entry into and exit from Afghanistan, replacing Manas Air Base in October of 2013,” said Maj. Frank Tedeschi, executive officer for the 94th Eng. Bn.

Command Sgt. Maj. John Johnson, senior enlisted adviser, 94th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, shares some parting words with Sgt. Garett Russ, a firefighter with 562nd Firefighter Det., 94th Eng. Bn., at a deployment ceremony honoring firefighters slated to deploy to Romania.
The transit center at Manas, located in Kyrgyzstan, is slated to close  in July.

Tedeschi went to describe their mission.

“Firefighters are a small, but  important, capability of the Engineer Regiment,” said Tedeschi. “They will be on call for the crash rescue and structural fire fighting mission at MK and ensure our service members are safely transported in and out of  theater.”

For many of the 562nd Firefighter Det. Soldiers who are deploying to Romania, it’s bound to be an eye-opening experience.

“I’ve only been in the Army for eight months”, said Pvt. James Brotz, native of Howell, Mich., firefighter with 562nd Firefighter Det. “I am ready to get to work and I’m going to a cool country.”

Unit leaders praised the training and preparation for the Romanian mission, citing an Afghanistan deployment in 2011 and the skills learned from working side-by-side with the Fort Leonard Wood fire department since returning.

From the top down, there’s no lack of confidence in the 562nd Det.

“The 562nd Firefighter Detachment is going to dominate at MK!” said Lt. Col. Samuel Volkman, commander, 94th Eng. Bn. “Sgt. [Garett] Russ and the team have done a phenomenal job of training up. They’re ready. They’re brave, responsible and on point.”
Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 March 2014 )