By Ms. Dawn M Arden (Leonard Wood)March 15, 2017
Senior leaders of the 5th Engineer Battalion, Soldiers, friends and Family gathered for a ceremony in Sapper Memorial Grove March 9 to bid farewell to the 562nd Firefighter Detachment as they cased their colors in final preparation to deploy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Lt. Col. Jacqueline Reini, 5th Engineer Battalion commander, told the crowd that although the unit is deploying as one of the smallest units in the Army, size doesn't define their capabilities.
"The firefighters before you, like numerous firefighters before them, will deploy to provide crash rescue and structural fire fighting for our forward-deployed Soldiers, Airmen and Marines," Reini said.
Reini told of the detachment's short history dating back to 1945 as the 3351st Engineer Utilities Detachment, through their more recent deployments to Afghanistan in 2011 and to Romania in 2014 as the 562nd Engineer Detachment.
"Today's deployment comes with a very short notice and a condensed time line, but if you know anything about the routine training these Soldiers receive in conjunction with the Directorate of Emergency Services here on Fort Leonard Wood, you would know these Soldiers could deploy with no notice," Reini said. "Like our fighters before them, they will prove they are confident, professional and dedicated to their duty, and they will answer the call of our nation."
Capt. Shawn Jones, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and 562nd Firefighter Detachment commander, told the detachment they were the most confident and selfless-serving Soldiers he's ever served with and thanked them for their sacrifice before offering more words of encouragement.
"Although you are going to an unfamiliar location, do not fear because once you are there you will find familiar faces and familiar uniforms," Jones said. "You will be taking your place and relieving those who came before you so that they may continue their mission."
Jones also stressed the importance of this deployment.
"What you are about to do matters," he said. "Your job will be to protect U.S. and coalition lives and equipment. You are ready, and you will accomplish your mission. You will not be alone, and you will work together as you prove just how effective the United States Army Soldier can be."