Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

216th Fire Fighting Team deploys to Romania

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Three members of the South Dakota National Guard’s 216th Fire Fighting Team
were honored during a deployment ceremony at the Range Road Armory in Rapid City, on March 16,
2023 as the unit departs for a year-long federal deployment to Romania in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom.

Family, friends, fellow soldiers and airmen, and community supporters came out to bid farewell to the
Rapid City-based unit as they depart on their mission to provide fire fighting and base support operations
in Romania.

“Working with other countries and making sure that we know what they do and they know what we do.
This creates a shared understanding if we have to help them or have them help us” said First Lt. Christian
Trainor, commander of 216th Fire Fighting Team. First Lt. Trainor has been the commander for only five
weeks and went through an accelerated training program to prepare for the deployment.

This will be the unit’s fourth federal mobilization since 9/11. The unit previously deployed in support of
Iraqi Freedom in 2004, Enduring Freedom in 2011, and Freedom Sentinel in 2017.

The ceremony included remarks from Gov. Kristi Noem, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender and South
Dakota National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jeff Marlette.

“Romania has been an incredibly important partner for the United States of America and a member of
NATO,” stated Gov. Noem. “These soldiers will serve will excellence, know their job and their mission,
and will come home safely after doing that.”

Maj Gen Marlette spoke to the families and stated, “families are the rock that allows all of us as Soldiers
to do what we do.” He further added, “thank you to our Soldiers who never falter. You go where your
country tells you to go and we are blessed to have you in our ranks.”

The unit will report to Fort Bliss, Texas for two additional weeks of training prior to the unit’s overseas
deployment.

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