TURON, Poland –
The Alaska Army National Guard 297th Regional Support Group (RSG) took over running the forward operating sites (FOS) in Poland July 8, 2020. Their jobs are to monitor the contracts that provide critical life support and morale measures for tenant units.
297th RSG Soldiers interacting with tenant units build camaraderie between the FOS staff and the tenant unit. Army components working together ensure the Soldiers have the best quality of life possible and can complete training requirements efficiently.
“It was so fun to go out and get in a Paladin, I was not expecting it, I was even allowed to sign a round,” said Specialist Drew Yeager, 297th RSG.
The 297th FOS Staff from Torun had the opportunity to watch part of the field artillery live fire certification table and interact with the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment Soldiers. The 1- 9 FA was happy to share an overview of what it took to operate a Paladin M109A6. Spc. Yeager from the 297th signed a round that was fired during the certification table. SPC Greenway moved ammo from the Field Artillery Ammunition vehicle to the Paladin.
1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment (1-9 FA) from Fort Stewart, GA, launched into their artillery table certification at Torun, July 20, 2020. The 1-9 FA currently has approximately 420 Soldiers training as well as 200 pieces of equipment with them on the FOS.
The 1-9 FA recently departed from Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area after completing the exercise Defender 2020. They then moved to Torun to complete further training which would normally be completed at home station. After the certification tables at Torun, the unit will be moving its assets to Germany to participate in Combined Resolve 2020 along with approximately 17 other countries in August.
As the 1-9 FA leaves FOS Torun, the 297th RSG staff continues to maintain and improve the living standards for the upcoming units rotating in. SPC Greenway of the 297th was ecstatic to be able to interact and train with the 1-9 FA. Now that the certification tables are over, SPC Greenway gets back to his normal duties on FOS Torun. Spc. Greenway has a range of duties and skills that help improve tenant living conditions and the overall infrastructure of FOS Torun. Recently, he assisted Soldiers with wifi connectivity issues.
“The MWR staff and the Soldiers in the tent were really happy with me, when I was able to fix the wifi,” said Specialist Devin Greenway 297th RSG. Greenway is working many different jobs as part of the mayor staff that are outside his MOS.
The 297th has been working to improve the quality of life at FOS Torun, fixing internet outages in the MWR tent, building benches for the showers, ensuring that the facilities on the base are running smoothly.
“The Contracting Officer's Representative classes we took in Alaska gave us a baseline of what we would be doing, for example this FOS has no underground water supply, ensuring the water delivery contract works perfectly is incredibly important,” said 1st Lieutenant Ivan Cuevas, 297th RSG. Water is brought into the FOS daily so that facilities such as showers and bathrooms function.
A Soldier with a high morale can withstand many things, months away from home, living in a tent, training at an incredibly high tempo. The ability to call home, play video games with friends, a hot shower and a comfortable place to lay their head makes the difference. The 297th is in Poland here to ensure that the needs of Soldiers are being met, the staff at FOS Torun are working to go above those requirements.