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Northern Nevada military news briefs

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Wei assumes command of Carson City unit

1st Lt. Wen Wei assumed command Friday of the Nevada Army National Guard’s 150th Support Maintenance Company during a change of command ceremony at the Office of the Adjutant General (OTAG) in Carson City. 

Capt. John DeKoning relinquished command to Wei and was recognized for his 24-month service to the 150th SMC.  Lt. Col. Curt Kolvet, commander of the 757th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, awarded the Meritorious Service Metal to DeKoning during the ceremony. DeKoning will be retiring from the Nevada Army National Guard after 13 years of service. 

“To the soldiers of 150th, thank you for the opportunity for letting me serve you,” DeKoning said. “It has been a challenging two years, but it has all been worth it seeing you all grow as soldiers.t

“To Lt. Wei, I ask that as your time as commander you continue to challenge these soldiers with realistic and challenging trainings. I implore you to ensure their days are filled with new things to learn and think outside the box when it comes to training. 

Wei said he was honored to be chosen as the company’s next commander.

“When I first commissioned, I was placed into the 150th and I did not know what to expect but I ended up falling in love with this unit because of the soldiers, and the work we do and the people we effect,” Wei said. 

“I look at this company and I know Captain DeKoning did an exceptional job getting us through tough times. He got us through COVID, through natural disasters, and the riots. I thank Capt. DeKoning for all of it.”

Detachment conducts search and rescue 

Thirteen soldiers of the G Co., 2/238th Aviation detachment from the Nevada Army National Guard conducted on Saturday a search and rescue training in the Northern Nevada mountains in a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter.

The training exercises consisted of two iterations, allowing multiple Soldiers to practice a search and rescue type simulation. Soldiers transported patients from the incident site into the Black Hawk in a timely manner. 

This training exercise tests the readiness of the medics’ and their ability to respond in the event of a real-life emergency. Exercises like this ensure Nevada National Guardsmen are ready for any type of emergency. 

Nevada Guard add third state partner

The Nevada National Guard has added a third state partner in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) area of operations with the Independent State of Samoa becoming the 96th partner nation. 

The National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) announced the partnership last week. 

Samoa joins the Kingdom of Tonga and the Republic of Fiji as Pacific Island partners with the Nevada National Guard. These partnerships occurred in 2014 and 2019, respectively. Nevada is one of three National Guard states now with three different partner nations.

“Nevada’s meaningful relationships and regional expertise in the Oceania region over the last decade were cited as the driving force behind the creation of this newest partnership,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Peyerl, director of Joint Staff, Nevada National Guard. “Many people are surprised at how much Nevada and Pacific Island nations have in common. At first glance, it’s easy to focus on the differences. If you look closely, you will see similarities of small, close-knit, urban communities separated by large distances of ocean in the Pacific and desert in Nevada.” 

The National Guard SPP connects a state’s National Guard forces with the armed forces or security forces equivalent of a partner nation in a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship. The Samoa state partnership will be unique since Samoa does not have an established military defense. 

According to the Nevada Guard, Samoa (known as “Western Samoa” until 1997) is an archipelago consisting of two main islands (Upolu and Savai’i) and seven smaller islands. It has a population of roughly 200,000 people with about 75 percent of the population residing in the capital city of Apia. 

Samoa was a German protectorate prior to World War I and was occupied unopposed by New Zealand in 1914. In 1962, Samoa became the first Polynesian nation to establish independence in the 20th Century. Its official languages are Samoan and English.

Air Guard recruiting center opens

The Nevada Air National Guard has opened a new recruitment center in Reno at 294 E. Moana Lane.

This is the first time in a decade recruiters have moved off the base. The location for the new center is in Independence Square 

Career fields are open in different areas including mechanical, logistics and security.

MOAA dinner and speaker

The Sierra Nevada chapter of the Military Officers Association of America is having its St. Patrick’s dinner and speaker on March 22 at Tamarack Junction, 13101 S Virginia St.

Guest speaker is Christa Burr from the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System. Burr is the department Leader for “My Life – My Story” self-reported life stories from veterans seen at the Reno VA.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with a social hour followed by dinner and the speaker at 6 p.m. Dinner consists of corned beef & cabbage, baked salmon with dill sauce, wild rice pilaf, chocolate decadence cake, seasonal cobbler, coffee or tea.

For questions, call Bill Waterman at 775-432-2670 or email [email protected]

Alternatively you can register and pay at moaanv.com.

Military articles and news briefs are compiled by the Nevada News Group and Nevada Appeal. Questions may be directed to Steve Ranson @SNMGmilitaryeditor or 775-427-0960.

Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson is Editor Emeritus of the Lahontan Valley News.

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News and events for veterans and active duty military members for the week of February 20, 2024.