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    Montana National Guard 1051st Firefighter Tactical Group prepare for 2021 mobilization

    FFTG Premobilization Training

    Photo By Spc. Emily Simonson | Montana Army National Guard 1049th Firefighter Detachment, 1051st Firefighter...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Emily Simonson 

    103rd Public Affairs Detachment

    Seven Montana Army National Guard Soldiers with the 1051st Firefighter Tactical Group completed premobilization training in November at Fort Harrison, Montana. The Soldiers are preparing for a year-long mobilization to Romania next spring to provide firefighting support.

    The 1051st spent their premobilization training brushing up on their Army tasks, such as individual weapons and grenade qualification.

    “What we're doing here today helps prepare us for the [mobilization],” said Spc. Kyle VanAtta, a firefighter with the 1051st. “Because first and foremost you’re a Soldier before your MOS (Military Occupation Specialty), so if anything goes awry downrange we'll have the tactical capabilities to deal with it.”

    This will be the first mobilization for all of the Soldiers. VanAtta said it was a pleasant surprise, having just joined the unit in July, 2020.

    Sgt. Nicholas Evola, 1051st Crew Chief, said the mobilization is the fulfillment of a long awaited goal.

    “I spent four years [as an] active duty [Soldier], expecting to travel and never did,'' said Evola.“I joined the National Guard and I have traveled way more since.”

    The 1051st’s premobilization training is one of the final steps toward mobilizing, but it has taken months to get to this point and Station Chief Sgt. Jared Rubel has been working for more than a year to get his Soldiers ready to go.

    “I got put on orders by the MOB (Mobilization) office to better prepare myself and the unit as a whole,” said Rubel. “[I’ve been working to get] all the different documents and forms that need to be done, training, and putting that together.”

    In order to have a successful mission, not only does a team need all their military skills and paperwork up-to-date, they also need to work as a team.

    “We all have some pretty good camaraderie, it's gonna be a good year down in Romania,” said VanAtta. “We all work well together...and that's going to help us be effective downrange.”

    Rubel said this will help immensely when the team is overseas.

    “Everybody gets along pretty well and we're pretty close so it helps out quite a bit in keeping morale up and getting through the training,” said Rubel. “They're coming along pretty good they know what their jobs are, they know what they're supposed to do and they get it done.”

    Leaving behind family and friends is a part of the sacrifice service members make. Spc. Ryan Thurman, the only parent on the mobilization, is leaving behind his nine-month-old son.

    “I’m going to miss his first steps and whatnot,” said Thurman. “But it's why we wear the uniform. That's just one of those things we’ve got to sacrifice.”

    Thurman said the experience will not only make him appreciate his family more, but the training the unit will receive in Romania will be very beneficial to him and his unit.

    “I think one of the biggest takeaways from this [mobilization] is how important teamwork is,” said Thurman. “We're a pretty close team, and we're gonna learn a lot over there and be able to bring it back for our unit.”

    VanAtta said he looks forward to the military benefits that come with serving on active duty for a year, such as education benefits. He also values the full-time firefighting experience he will be able to bring home to his unit.

    “I've never actually spent a year working as a firefighter the entire time,” said Evola. “So this is going to be a new experience for me.”

    Evola plans to use the training he receives overseas to gain a career as a firefighter.

    The Soldiers of the 1051st are slated to return in spring 2022.



    Date Taken: 11.22.2020
    Date Posted: 12.08.2020 18:08
    Story ID: 384505
    Location: FORT HARRISON, MT, US

    Web Views: 104
    Downloads: 0