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Firefighters return from overseas deployment

Aug. 17, 2018 | By sraymond
By Spc. Sarah Gossett, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment [caption id="attachment_29298" align="aligncenter" width="574"]
VIRIN: 180817-N-ZY298-19298
Sgt. Michael Wells with the 178th Engineer Firefighting Team greets his family during a welcome home ceremony at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Aug. 16, 2018. The 178th had just returned from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Sarah Gossett) GREENVILLE, Ky. -- Families kept their eyes on the horizon anticipating the return of their Soldiers as the 178th Engineer Firefighting Team arrived by UH-60 Blackhawk at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Aug. 16, 2018. The team has returned home after a nine-month long deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, where the team’s mission was to provide emergency services, support aircraft missions, improve safety measures to barracks and facilities, and help train local firefighters. “The 206th Engineer Battalion welcomes home the 178th Firefighting Team. Their families and loved ones have been anxiously awaiting their return for the last 9 months,” said Maj. Michael Lawson, commander of the 206th, the 178th's parent battalion. “I am extremely proud of their accomplishments. They flawlessly executed this unique mission, supporting both facilities and aviation units throughout their area of responsibility.” The 178th Engineer Firefighting Team was comprised of six qualified Soldiers in positions such as station chief, lead firefighter, fire truck driver, and firefighter, led by Staff Sgt. Matthew Stevens, who deployed previously to Afghanistan with the 176th Engineer Firefighting Team in 2011. The team aided in several in-flight emergencies during their time providing emergency services,including an overturned truck. “They represented us well, the Kentucky National Guard and firefighters. They were able to complete the mission safely, and every single one of them won an award while they were there,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jimmie Evans, Fire Chief for the 176th and 178th Engineer Firefighting Teams. “We’re glad to have them back and excited for them to bring this knowledge and experience to the unit, especially the younger firefighters and Soldiers who haven’t deployed yet.”

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