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    U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard Maintain the Strength during Operation Resolute Castle

    U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard Maintain the Strength during Operation Resolute Castle

    Photo By Capt. Kimberlee Lewis | Soldiers from 841st Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve and 194th Engineer Brigade,...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Kimberlee Lewis 

    841st Engineer Battalion

    NOVO SELO TRAINING SITE, Bulgaria-The 841st Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army Reserve and 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, are maintaining the strength during Operation Resolute Castle. Operation Resolute Castle is a United States Army Europe-Led, construction operation that spans from constructing roadways to infrastructure improvements across Eastern Europe which includes Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, and Hungary.

    Soldiers from the Army Reserve and Army National Guard bring a unique set of skills to the Army as they work in a wide variety of civilian occupations. Their military training often comes on the weekends, though they are in no way “weekend warriors”. This group with its unique civilian skillset is always on call to respond to threats to our nation’s security, at home and around the world.

    There are many soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard that have taken part in Operation Resolute Castle. It is an opportunity to refine their knowledge and sharpen their skillset. Sgt. Shane Tardieu and Spc. Andrae Bell of the 841st Eng. Bn., both construction workers, agreed that it was a good opportunity to come out to work on this project in Bulgaria. Sgt. Tardieu, who works as a police officer in his civilian job, says that he’s recieved, “great cross training with other soldiers and have used equipment that I never thought I will be using for this mission.” Bell added, “good post for receiving hands-on training and great environment that accommodated soldiers to build morale.”

    Many soldiers enjoy training at different locations which makes it a memorable experience and rewarding to know that they are completing a project that is going to benefit other military personnel for their training purposes. Spc. Steven Cao, 841st Eng. Bn., heavy equipment operator, says, “loves the mission…being able to work on the equipment is great!” Cao works as a retail sale consultant for a major corporation on the civilian side and enjoys the opportunity to come out and work on heavy equipment during Operation Resolute Castle.

    Novo Selo Training Area (NSTA) health care on post is critical for sustainment of personnel strength. The Reservist and National Guardsmen makes up the medical care strength here at NSTA to treat and sustain health care. Spc. Jessica Wilcox and Pvt. Samuel Durda, both health care specialists for 841st Eng. Bn., said they received a good deal of training from the Combat Life Saver Course (CLS) and Intravenous (IV) class here at NSTA.

    Wilcox is currently pursuing studies as an occupational therapist and says, “enjoying the mission here, the ability to help others and learning new things is a great experience.” Durda, is a EMT and Paramedic at his civilian job, brings a wealth of medical expertise to the health care team. He stated, “I can relate my military job to my civilian because I do it every day." Durda was asked, what he like most about his job, he said, “the ability to help others and ultimately save lives if emergency event occurs.”

    During Operation Resolute Castle Reservist and National Guardsmen perform real world missions and continuous training. One of these training events included the CLS course, where soldiers train to save lives in a combat/warfare event. Evbuomvan, a health care specialist for 194th Eng. Bde., Tennessee Army National Guard, says, “very educated and knowledgeable soldiers, great learning experience.” Evbuoman, a respiratory care technician at her civilian occupation, stated, “being at NSTA has increased my skill set and will help improve my skills when I return back home to my civilian job.”

    The medical staff are not the only soldiers gaining life support training. Any soldier that is willing to take the class is eligible to certify as a combat lifesaver or they can take the class to refresh their knowledge. Staff Sgt. John Draper, 194th Eng. Bde., military police, has taken the CLS course in the past and now a refresher at NSTA. When asked how he felt about the course, he replied, "I learned a lot…it was a great refresher.” Staff Sgt. Draper, a K-9 officer for a sheriff department, knows the importance of keeping and hone his skills and saw the class as a great opportunity to re-familiarize himself.

    1st Lt Matthew Gilbert, 194th Eng. Bde., lead public affairs coordinator attended the course as well. He says, “it was excellent training”. 1st Lt. Gilbert Gilbert’s civilian job is as an attorney. When asked why he opted to take a medical course, he replied, “medical skills can be applied to our everyday lives…and having these skills can help respond to a situation, the right way.”

    The U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard are definitely meeting milestones here at Operation Resolute Castle. Their continued efforts and training are clearly highlighted by the results of their work which displays a high level of professionalism when it comes to leading from the front.



    Date Taken: 07.13.2016
    Date Posted: 07.19.2016 09:39
    Story ID: 204353
    Location: NOVO SELO, BG 

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