Firefighting team returns to Sparta, Ill. from Afghanistan - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Firefighting team returns to Sparta, Ill. from Afghanistan


The seven firefighters from the Illinois Army National Guard's 662nd Engineer Firefighting Detachment who served in Afghanistan will return home Oct. 10.

The unit was stationed in Afghanistan for approximately 6 months. 

The homecoming ceremony for the 662nd Engineer Fire Fighting Team in Sparta will be at 2:30 p.m. at the Sparta Armory Fire Station, 1803 N. Hillcrest Drive in Sparta.

Mobilized in February, the team trained on Soldier tasks and firefighting skills for a brief time at Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

The 662nd provided fire department emergency response services for Forward Operating Base (FOB) Wolverine and the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.

The mission included fire prevention and protection, structural and aircraft firefighting, rescue and emergency medical and decontamination of hazardous areas.

The 662nd responded to more than 30 calls during its deployment.  The team also conducted fire inspections and fire drills throughout the FOB, as well as teaching fire extinguisher training to workers of the aircraft refueling point. 

"We feel that our mission of fire protection on the FOB was successful and we served our country well in Operation Enduring Freedom 2012," said Staff Sgt.Christopher Heiken of Mount Vernon, team leader for the 662nd.

Deployed Soldiers from the 662nd received the Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Overseas Service Ribbon and the NATO Service Medal. 

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