The Kentucky Army National Guard trains while providing crucial support

Photos and story by Sgt. Albert D. Elliott, Unit Public Affairs Representative

Spc. Cayla Ison uses a hammer to get concrete to settle in to the forms that shape the second floor of a building at the Joint Multinational Regional Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany April 9. Ison is a “Citizen Soldier” with the 149th Vertical Engineers, Kentucky Army National Guard based in Cynthiana, KY.

Spc. James Adkins and Pfc. John Rader carefully lay the corner block for a wall at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany April 7. The JMRC serves as a regional training facility for coalition forces preparing to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other areas. The construction workers are assigned to the 149th Vertical Engineers, Kentucky Army National Guard based in Cynthiana, KY.

HOHENFELS, Germany (April 29, 2010)–A cold and damp morning greeted a company of Kentucky Army National Guard Soldiers on their first day of duty at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center at Hohenfels, Germany.

The “Citizen Soldiers” of the 149th Vertical Engineers Company based in Cynthiana, Ky., arrived April 4 and went right to work to complete a construction project started by the Utah National Guard.

Concrete and mortar were the main ingredients in these Soldiers tasks as they work on several construction projects that will create a regional training facility.

According to the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the project, Capt. James Davis, the project is about 75% complete and was started in 2008.

Spc. Rebecca Preston, a native of Paris, Ky., carries a bag of mortar to be mixed to be part of a building at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany April 7. Preston is an Electrician with the 149th Vertical Engineering Company, Kentucky Army National Guard based in Cynthiana, KY.

“With the partnership the JMRC has with the National Guard, it is estimated to save the U.S. Army around $6 million,” said Davis.   “It provides the Guard with a great training opportunity.”

The facility is one of several training sites in Europe and recreates the environment coalition Soldiers will face as they are tasked with missions in areas like Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.

The site could also be easily adapted to meet training needs in other regions as well.

Maj. Jason Meharg, operations officer, added the Soldier’s mission here is crucial in the completion of a facility that will be a key part of saving the lives of Soldiers as they prepare for real world missions.

It was not all work; the Soldiers where able to have two days of their three week mission to tour Germany. With the tours, the Kentuckians were able to enjoy all of the cultural experiences Germany has to offer.


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