The 5th Engineer Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood hosted a welcome home and flag uncasing ceremony for the 562nd Engineer Fire Fighter Detachment Thursday.
The fire fighter unit, led by Sgt. Mark Banks, noncommissioned officer in charge, completed a nine-month deployment to Iraq in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.
“This is a critical ceremonial step signifying completion of an important piece of this unit’s history,” Lt. Col. James Cook, 5th Engineer Battalion commander, said. “The 562nd exists to support the joint force through crash fire rescue and structural fire-fighting support. They have completed their mission with expertise, precision and professionalism.”
The skill and expertise of the 562nd Fire Fighting Detachment, with its lineage dating back to 1945, remains in high demand today, he said.
After a brief reintegration period, the unit will take up home station roles and responsibilities, including training for future missions with the 5th Engineer Battalion.
The 562nd also plans to work with the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department, “keeping us safe here at home,” Cook added.
Capt. Jerad Romine, Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, said he is proud of this detachment “not only for what they achieved but the manner in which they did it.”
Glad for the unit’s safe return at the holidays, Romine added, one of the Soldiers returning is now a new father, and one is about to be married.
“We are grateful for the sacrifices you’ve made, the resiliency, patience, courage, and hours of work,” Romine said as he addressed members of the unit. “Your tour may be over, but your legacy won’t be forgotten.”