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Montana National Guard soldiers train in Butte

Montana National Guard soldiers train in Butte
Posted at 8:21 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 12:56:52-04

BUTTE — About 90 soldiers from the Montana National Guard are gathered in Butte at the Silver Bow Pit to prepare for an overseas training mission in Germany.

"This summer we’re going to Germany to support an international exercise helping to build infrastructure there," says James Rolin, commander of the 260th ESC Montana National Guard.

Commander Rolin also happens to be an MTN reporter based in Great Falls at station KRTV. Commander Rolin and the Montana National Guard soldiers he oversees are using a plot of Montana Department of Transportation land located south of Butte to build up vital skills before their mission.

"We’re very fortunate to be here in Butte today, especially here at the pit because we’re getting to do things we don’t normally get to do," says Staff Sergeant Zachary Sommerfeld of Sidney, Montana.

Sommerfeld is training to become a surveyor and he says training for vertical and horizontal engineering projects takes a lot of space, so the large gravel pit is perfect for the work they are doing.

Commander Rolin agrees.

"Basically, we’re moving a whole lot of dirt around with our big machines and making sure that our soldiers know how to use everything properly," he says.

He adds that he and his soldiers are fortunate to have the opportunity to serve a mission in Germany this summer.

"The National Guard supports operations not just in the state and in the country but overseas as well and we’re fortunate to get one of those missions," says Commander Rolin.