178th Firefighting Team deploys to Iraq

Story and Photos by Pfc. Nasir Stoner, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers of the 178th Engineer Firefighting Team take a group photo after their Departure Ceremony for their upcoming Deployment to Iraq at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Sept. 23, 2017. (U.S, Army National Guard photo by Pfc. Nasir Stoner)

GREENVILLE, Ky. –The Kentucky National Guard held a departure ceremony for the 178th Firefighting Team deploying to Iraq at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky., Sept. 23, 2017.

“Remember who you are and remember you are an American Soldier,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan, the Adjutant General of the Kentucky National Guard. “Remember that you are a Kentuckian, and remember you are a Greenville Fireman.”

To see all the photos of the event, please click HERE.

The 178th Engineer Firefighting Team is made up of six Soldiers led by Staff Sgt. Matthew Stevens, who also deployed to Afghanistan with the 176th Engineer Firefighting Team in 2011. The unit is deploying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Fighting fires is one of the most hazardous professions,” said the Honorable Jan Yonts, Mayor of Greenville. “It requires physical strength, stamina, extensive training, courage, and selfless concerns for the welfare of others.”

“For some of you this will be your first deployment,” said Capt. Scott Blackburn, the Company Commander of the 178th Firefighting Team. “Remember to rely on your training and leadership and know that we are back here in Kentucky waiting to get you whatever you need.”

“We are going to Iraq and our mission is an aircraft mission,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Stevens. “We will be training Iraqi soldiers as well as a fire brigade down there.”

The 178th Engineering Firefighting Team is comprised of six qualified Soldiers in positions such as Station Chief, Lead Firefighter, Fire Truck Driver, and Firefighter. They are preparing to leave for the deployment in the next few weeks.