by Sgt. 1st Class Shane Klestinski
Soldiers of the 50th Regional Support Group (RSG), based in Homestead, Florida, had a deployment departure ceremony at the Homestead armory on Jan. 7, 2021.
Friends, family, and senior Florida Guard leaders also attended the ceremony for roughly 100 Soldiers who will soon be leaving Florida for Fort Hood, Texas, for pre-mobilization training and then to multiple sites throughout Poland.
The 50th RSG will support the European Deterrence Initiative mission as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve by providing management and base operations for several forward operating sites throughout the country.
“Each Soldier has received training in various battle drills, medical response, contracting issues and other areas to prepare them to work in an overseas environment,” said Army Capt. Nicholas Fasanella, commander for the 50th RSG’s headquarters and headquarters company, whose military career has previously taken him to South Korea and El Salvador.
Any deployment presents uncertainties, especially for Soldiers who haven’t previously served overseas, but communication with Soldiers already in theater has improved the 50th RSG’s training and readiness.
“We’ve been working with our counterparts in Poland virtually,” said Spc. Emilie Ortiz, a religious affairs specialist who will be working alongside the chaplain to ensure Soldiers’ spiritual needs are met. “Knowing the mission that’s going on and how we’ll be impacting the mission has helped.”
Supervising base operations is an uncommon mission for Florida Guard Soldiers, who normally train one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer.
“This is a first for a Florida Guard unit,” Fasanella said. “We’re excited for the mission and looking forward to the challenge.”