BELFAST — National Guard units rolled north to Aroostook County Friday morning to link up with a 1,200-member force for intensive training exercises and to perform public service projects.
Staff Sgt. Greg Small of Belfast’s Company 262nd Combat Engineers said the engineers would participate in a five-day tactical simulation of a warlike mission in the north woods. The remainder of the 15-day exercise will consist of community service work along the St. John River.
Sgt. Small said that Company B would put 102 men in the field and travel in a convoy of 38 vehicles.
“The tactical scenario will have our men training 24 hours a day, practicing night operations and demolition training,” Small said. “We also will have training in individual soldier skills, map reading, weapons and physical fitness tests.
“Following our military training, we will put in a boat access ramp and picnic area in the town of St. Francis on the St. John River, and another element will be dispatched to Walker Brook in the Allagash, where they will build footbridges, campground shelters and upgrade the road network.”
Under the command of Capt. Robert S. Fairweather Jr., Company B has won recognition as the state’s top combat engineer group.
In 1989, Company B was selected Best Unit, Best in Operations, Best in Supply, Best in Maintenance, Best in Communications and Best in Safety, Small said.
He added that Company B had been cited in the top of its field for most of the past decade.
“In the past year, Company B has proved ourselves as an expert unit,” Small said. “With the positive attitude of the men going into this year’s Advanced Training Exercise, I feel that Company B can excel once again. This year, we will be happy to win the same awards and more.”
Company B is attached to the 1,200-man 240th Engineering Group based at Waterville.
Small said the units will be spread throughout the County and live under standard military conditions.
“It will be tent city up there,” he said.