Civic Leaders get a taste of “Guard life”
Story and photos by: Capt. Stephen Martin, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs
GREENVILLE, Ky. – Civic Leaders from across the state visited the Kentucky National Guard’s Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky. to visit troops and get a little taste of what it’s like to be a Citizen Soldier.
“It was a privilege to not only watch the Kentucky National Guard train and see how much work and preparation goes into a deployment, but it was an honor to have the opportunity to interact with so many men and women serving our country,” said Larry Vaught, sports editor for the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
These 20 civic leaders were selected from a pool of educators, employers and influential community members to visit the pre-mobilization training for Agribusiness Development Team 5 .
Rick Rummel, who is the founder and President of Ohio Valley Surgical, saw the value of the training that Kentucky Guardsmen have to go through in order to be adequately prepared for the mission asked of them.
“I ended the day with the appreciation of how important, necessary, and how completely thorough the training is for those getting ready to deploy and also how necessary regular training is,” said Rummel. “Quite a day that I will remember for, well, as long as my memory works.”
Rummel, along with the other civic leaders, traveled to the training site on a UH-60 Blackhawk in the morning and watched as the ADT5 troops practiced their urban operations training, clearing buildings and responding to would-be aggressors.
Additionally, WHFRTC has one of the premiere Humvee Rollover trainers in the country, also known as the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer or HEAT. These community leaders had the opportunity to see examples of the training as well as climb in and get a 30 degree tip demonstration themselves.
“This is also known as ‘turn three at Talledega’ for those race car fans,” joked Staff Sgt. Sandy Austin, HEAT Operator for WHFRTC.
After stepping off the helicopter, Vaught commented, “Probably the one thing that will stick out with me the most was learning just how skilled the National Guard troops are when they are called for service and what wonderful training facilities they have to prepare them for all sorts of operations.”
“I’m not sure any of us appreciate the Kentucky National Guard nearly enough.”