Skip to Content

My.Army.Mil. Learn more about your Army media. How you like it.

Fort Hood Press Center
DATE: July 28, 2015 3:02:24 PM CDT

5th AR trains firefighters for deployment

An unnamed military firefighter climbs a ladder to rescue one of three simulated victims caught in a live fire during a mission readiness exercise held recently at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Photo by Capt. John A. Brimley, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

Capt. John A. Brimley, Mobilization Training Center Bliss Public Affairs

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico — A Division West unit here recently wrapped up a four-day training exercise to prepare firefighting detachments for deployment to Romania.

The 3rd Battalion, 364th Engineer Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade’s mission readiness exercise offered members of four Washington State firefighting detachments, the 907th, 702nd, 582nd, and 306th, a taste of live-firefighting while building unit cohesion and teamwork.

“This place built a lot of camaraderie amongst the firefighters,” said Staff Sgt. Everard Lewis, assistant fire chief, 907th Firefighting Headquarters Detachment.

On the last day of the mission readiness exercise, the detachments, with the 907th running command and control, worked in unison to tackle a two-story structure fire as well as search and rescue and ventilation operations.

Sgt. 1st Class Jason Piercy, military fire chief, 3rd Battalion, 364th Engineer Regiment, 5th Armored Brigade, ignites a fire to begin Day 4 of a mission readiness exercise for the 907th, 702nd, 582nd, and 306th Firefighting Detachments at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Photo by Capt. Jennie Armstrong, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West)

Staff Sgt. Andrew Hayden, fire chief for the 907th, and his team, along with Lewis, was responsible for coordinating their response to each situation using radio communications amongst the other three detachments.

“This just gave them an opportunity to work together and work on their SOPs (standard operating procedures) and figure out anything they might need to improve upon and figure what works for them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Piercy, fire chief for 3-364th Engineer Regiment.

Piercy is one of three firefighters in 5th Armored Brigade and because of the irregularity of firefighting units mobilizing through Mobilization Training Center Bliss, he and his fellow firefighters rarely get to use their skills. With that irregularity also comes increased resource coordination requirements.

“Holloman Air Force Base, their fire department was a great asset to us,” Piercy said. “They were able to accommodate all of our training in one location with the ARFF (aircraft rescue and fire fighter) training.”

Firefighters from 306th Firefighting Detachment provide ventilation through a roof during the units mission readiness exercise held recently at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Photo by Capt. Jennie Armstrong, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West) 

Infrequent resources and training not only affect the trainers, but also those receiving the training.

“The availability of live fire burns is not easy to get, so having the chance to do that before you go downrange is really important,” said 1st Lt. Christopher Stell, detachment commander for the 907th.

This will be the first deployment for many assigned to these detachments, but for Lewis, this will be his third, and he couldn’t be happier that his team is getting comfortable during training before they have to execute the real thing downrange.

“Without a doubt there’s something that’s going to happen down range, and I want them to be the most comfortable that they can be,” said Lewis. “Being in a situation like this where there’s high tensions and lots of fire, some smoke and rescue, a lot of climbing and a lot of hard work when you get down there, it’s going to make it a heck of a lot easier to do their job effectively and efficiently.”

For more information contact:
First Army Division West
First Army Division West
(254) 553-5010
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]