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    Florida Army Guard arrives in Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve

    Florida Army Guard arrives in Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve

    Photo By 1st Lt. Abigail Hammock | Army Spc. Genesis Mathis, unit guidon bearer, and Soldiers from the 50th Regional...... read more read more

    The temperature was 17 degrees Fahrenheit in Forward Operating Site Torun, Poland, when the 50th Regional Support Group (RSG), a Florida Guard unit based in Homestead, Florida, arrived on Feb. 9, 2021.

    The 50th RSG is in Poland to support the European Deterrence Initiative as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve by providing management and base operations support at various forward operating sites throughout the country, and a great deal of preparation went into its arrival.

    Army Col. Ricardo Roig, 50th RSG commander, gave his Soldiers the first heads-up for this deployment in late 2019. A little over a year later, the 50th RSG’s deploying Soldiers had successfully completed numerous inspections, training sessions in contracting, online classes, battle drill rehearsals, certifying validation exercises, and two, 21-day annual training periods back-to-back, all while having approximately 80 percent of the unit on active duty as part of the Florida Guard’s COVID-19 response.

    “I feel very well prepared for this mission after all the training we’ve had,” said Spc. Jonathan Trujillo, who will work as an IT help desk assistant in Poland on his first deployment.

    Trujillo served during the Florida Guard’s COVID-19 response mission when it began in March 2020, all the way into December.

    “Doing mobilization training and COVID operations was a bit hectic at first, but after a while you find a rhythm and you learn how to manage your time and energy,” Trujillo said. “It also helped me get to know the people I’ll be deploying with, so I enjoyed it.”

    The 50th RSG left Homestead on Jan. 10 for a month in Fort Hood, Texas – where they did more pre-mobilization training. The COVID-19 pandemic complicated the usual “pre-mob” process, requiring these Soldiers to submit to two weeks of “restriction of movement” (ROM) and two COVID tests, but their preparation continued. These Florida Guard members made the most of their training time in Texas as they excelled during their culminating training exercise by impressing evaluators with processes that were already in place and resolved any scenario the evaluators presented. Additionally, senior Soldiers mentored junior Soldiers by preparing them for Basic Leader Course, and 10 Soldiers even began training to earn their Expert Soldier Badge.

    “It’s extremely important that every Soldier understands how to perform all aspects of their job when mobilizing overseas, so we need to have all those different forms of training properly completed,” said Army Capt. Nicholas Fasanella, headquarters headquarters company commander for the 50th RSG. “This is a crucial support role we’ll be taking over from the 297th RSG, and a smooth transition ultimately leads to better customer service for our tenant units in Poland.”

    The 50th RSG left Fort Hood for Poland on Feb. 8. After flying all night on a plane that traveled through six time zones, and spending several more hours on two different buses, they finally arrived in Torun – where they had another COVID test and began another stint of ROM, as required by Polish law. During this final ROM requirement, these Florida Guardsmen continued their preparations by communicating with their in-country counterparts in the 297th RSG, whose positions they will soon assume.

    The 50th RSG departed Torun for their assigned forward operating sites on Feb. 18. They will work in-person with their 297th counterparts for about a week as an introduction to the actual operating environment. Afterwards, the 297th RSG goes home, and then the real work will begin for the 50th.

    “These Soldiers have had a long journey and gone through a lot of training to develop their current level of readiness for this mission,” Roig said. “We have a task that no Florida Guard unit has never been assigned before, and I’m looking forward to showing what we can do in Poland.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.25.2021
    Date Posted: 02.25.2021 14:16
    Story ID: 389893
    Location: POWIDZ, PL 

    Web Views: 860
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN