FLORES, Guatemala – Soldiers from the West Virginia National Guard’s 115th Engineer Company, 1092nd Engineer Battalion, are in Flores, Guatemala, to support Operation Resolute Sentinel 22.
The multinational training opportunity benefits the United States, Guatemala and other partner nations by promoting well-being and readiness and developing long-term partnerships. Resolute Sentinel is a Southern Command exercise led by the 12th Air Force (U.S. Air Force Southern). It has evolved over four decades, dating to the 1980s when it began as New Horizons.
“Having the opportunity to deploy to Guatemala and provide support to Operation Resolute Sentinel is a great chance for our Soldiers to utilize their job skills and complete a real-world construction project,” said Capt. Paul Cooley, commander of the 115th. “These Soldiers have worked hard for over a year preparing for this mission, so I think we are all excited to be here and get to work.”
While in Guatemala, the 115th will continue constructing a grade school that will be used by Guatemalan students as early as this fall.
The 115th will work on the project until rotating out of the country in two weeks, replaced by another engineer company.
“The engineers in the company that worked on this project before us did a great job getting the construction started,” said 1st Sgt. Jennifer Roderick, the first sergeant of the 115th. “We hope to continue the progress they made and set the next group of engineers up for success as they come in to replace us in a few weeks.”
The climate in Guatemala is quite different from West Virginia, which enables the unit to operate in a unique work environment. The first two days of work for the 115th brought scattered thunderstorms and temperatures in the high 80s with a heat index of over 100 degrees.
“Our Soldiers have worked and trained in different climates and weather situations around the globe and have always exceeded expectations,” said Roderick. “From flood duty to blizzard responses to overseas mission in the desert, our Soldiers have done it all. The weather we are facing here will be just another environment for them to work and succeed in.”