HEIDELBERG, Germany - A firefighting training officer from Installation Management Command-Europe's Firefighting Training Center in Ansbach recently completed training at Mikhail Kogalniceanu International Airport, Romania, Oct. 20 as part of an effort to enhance interoperability and capability at the site of U.S. Army Europe's Joint Task Forces-East.

JAfA1/4rgen Schwab, Ansbach training center's training officer, was joined by and Hubert Karl, contractor HFW, to provide five days of hands-on training to approximately 30 Romanian firefighters from the Mikhail Kogalniceanu (MK) International Airport.

"The training we provide helps improve the Romanian firefighters' skills and, in turn, helps ensure the required support is available to the JTF-East personnel on location," said Sigurd Mack, Headquarters IMCOM, who oversees the Army firefighting program in Europe. "The environment in Europe is challenging because the the firefighting culture and techniques between the U.S. and European countries differ, but at the end the day we often manage to get the best out of two worlds together. It is a win-win situation."

Training included familiarization with U.S. firefighting vehicles and equipment, as well as tactics used to defeat various types of structural and situational fires. On hand was a rented mobile life fire simulator also used for special training at U.S. Army Garrisons. The trainer allowed for realistic training scenarios and direct feedback to the students if they were working effectively, said Mack.

"Training without fire is for a fireman like swimming without water," said Schwab.

The main training objective the firefighters focused on throughout the five-day course was teamwork and safety, said Mack. Firefighters learned how to work together to effectively attack a fire and get familiar with current safety standards and procedures.

"This training is an important part of my future, and it is always good to learn from mistakes in a training environment," said Ion Olteanu, 38, a shift commander for the Mikhail Kogalniceanu International Airport firefighting force.

The MK airport fire station personnel provide the required emergency fire support for U.S. Army Europe Joint Task Forces-East combined military operations at the air base.

The USAG Ansbach operates a firefighting training center for IMCOM providing training to all Army firefighters at USAGs in Europe. Past support to JTF-East also included training of Bulgarian contract firefighters at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria.

Mack said this kind of support is rather special mission to IMCOM and the training center and supported by U.S. Army Europe.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16