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    International Nevada Guard missions continue despite worldwide pandemic

    International Nevada Guard missions continue despite worldwide pandemic

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka | Thirty Soldiers from G Co., 2/238th Aviation based in Reno took off May 7 to rotate...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka 

    Nevada Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs

    By Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka
    Joint Force Headquarters

    CARSON CITY – The effects of COVID-19 on the Nevada National Guard did not remain within the state’s boundaries this spring, as all five Army Guard units on international deployments were impacted by the worldwide scourge.
    With the deployment of Det. 3, Company B, 2/641st in early January, the Nevada Army Guard found itself with five units deployed simultaneously for the first time since 2011. A total of nearly 210 Soldiers are on the missions in three continents.

    3665th Explosive Ordnance Company: While the pandemic slowed the majority of the deployed units, the responsibility of the 3665th actually expanded. About 30 of the unit’s Soldiers are supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in the Central Command area of responsibility.
    “Some large changes out here have resulted in our company shifting to take over the entire explosive ordnance footprint of the theater,” wrote 1st Sgt. Benjamin Hopper from the unit’s CENTCOM base. “The virus has shaken things up, but we maintain our 24/7 emergency responses – now at locations all over the theater.”
    Hopper wrote 3665th Soldiers are becoming familiar with their new bases and areas of responsibility.
    The 3665th left southern Nevada last August and is set to return to its home in Henderson this summer – if usual Department of Defense travel resumes.
    “We look forward to getting back,” Hopper wrote.

    G Co., 2/238th Aviation: The first 30 Soldiers who deployed with G Company to Central Command last autumn and were expected to return in April are still abroad after being delayed by travel restrictions.
    The thirty Soldiers from the unit who were set to rotate into CENTCOM to replace the unit’s original iteration of Soldiers were mobilized in late April and they departed for their final pre-deployment training in Texas on May 7.
    “The virus has taken over most things here,” wrote company commander Capt. Nigel Harrison. “Everything is closed and we are wearing face covering when we are in public.”
    Harrison said the company was emphasizing training as well as knocking out college classes and spending lots of time at the gym while awaiting its return trip to the Silver State. The unit has been performing medical evacuation and personnel recovery missions since last autumn.

    757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion: The headquarters element of the 757th left for Poland in early January to support European Command’s Operation Assured Response and ostensibly the huge Defender 2020 exercise. That exercise has been scaled back, but the battalion still has Soldiers busy supporting missions across Eastern Europe at seven sites.
    Although there have been no cases among the 757th Soldiers, the coronavirus remains a serious concern in Poland, wrote Command Sgt. Maj. Shauna Reese via email in April. Soldiers can only travel in groups of five or less and all training is limited to five Soldiers or less or conducted via the Global Video System. The base gym is closed but the post exchange remains open.
    Reese wrote the unit is finding bright spots during its less-than-anticipated activity.
    “Overall, the team has been amazing.” Reese wrote. “The time we took in selecting the team for this deployment has paid dividends. We have had several wins over the past few weeks including: Soldier and noncommissioned officer promotions, success on the Army Physical Fitness Test and a Virtual 5- and 10-kilometer run that reinvigorated running and competiveness on post.”

    Bravo Company, 1/189th Aviation: About 60 Soldiers in B Company are steadily progressing toward the conclusion of their deployment to Kuwait and surrounding countries while supporting Central Command’s Spartan Shield. The unit operates and maintains the Nevada Army Guard’s six CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
    “We’re chugging along,” wrote unit commander Zack Taylor-Warren in April. “There has been a slight downturn in the operations tempo due to COVID-19, but we are still moving people and cargo around the region. We are practicing social distancing and face coverings are mandatory.
    Taylor-Warren said the Soldiers can smell the finish line. The unit should be home by early autumn.
    “The end is in sight and we have started planning for re-deloyment,” Taylor-Warren wrote. “We are being told we can expect to be back in Nevada on schedule.
    “Everyone is definitely missing their families and is ready to get back home.”
    Bravo Company has fallen under the 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade for the duration of its deployment. That brigade supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry.

    Det. 3, Company B, 2/641st Aviation: The tiny unit (often referred to as Detachment 45) that maintains and operates the Nevada Army Guard’s lone C-12 Huron fixed-wing aircraft left for Africa in January. The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically impacted the unit’s number of flights.
    “We are not grounded but are limited to transportation on GO approval only,” wrote commander Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Anderson. “Because of that, every flight has been cancelled. Our base is closed to commercial and civilian traffic.”



    Date Taken: 05.21.2020
    Date Posted: 05.21.2020 15:11
    Story ID: 370562
    Location: CARSON CITY, NV, US 
    Hometown: CARSON CITY, NV, US

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