South Dakota National Guard firefighters deploy to Europe

National guard deployment ceremony
National guard deployment ceremony(KOTA KEVN)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 9:56 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The 216th Fire Fighting Team of the South Dakota National Guard are set to once again deploy to Europe following a deployment ceremony in Rapid City Thursday.

The last time the 216th was deployed was to Romania in 2017. At that time they were supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel. This time they are deploying to an undisclosed base to support United States European Command firefighting and base operations.

”They have a constant rotation of just making sure they’re not there too long, certain soldiers, so it’s replacing them and also just working with other countries and making sure that we kinda know what they do and they know what we do and there’s that shared understanding of if we have to help them out in any way or they have to help us they know how we operate and we know how they operate,” said Christian Trainor, commander of the 216th.

Trainor says that deployments like this help to avoid any confusion when working with United States allies and help to build trust between any allied forces.

The unit will be headed to Fort Bliss Texas to prepare for deployment before ultimately heading out to Europe.