GREAT FALLS, Mont. --
“I heard about two (deployment for trainings) coming up and when I saw that they were overseas I got really excited,” said 219th RED HORSE Squadron Airman 1st Class Michael Wisherd.
Wisherd boarded a C-130 Hercules in early June and left America for the first time in his military career. After 22 hours of traveling from Montana, Wisherd landed in Slovenia.
Wisherd, serves in the Montana Air National Guard as an airfields apprentice for the heavy construction specialists of the 219th RHS.
The acronym RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer.
“Usually, I come home and see my family every day,” Wisherd said. “It was odd not seeing them.”
Family was found in the members that deployed with him.
“It’s a lot of fun, everyone’s kind of like a family,” Wisherd said.
The off-duty time is when Wisherd connected with the other deployed members.
“It’s a lot of fun to see the people on the outside, you don’t usually see them when they’re out of uniform,” Wisherd said. “You really meet them and see what their personality is like.”
When training was complete for the day, the members had the chance to explore surrounding areas.
Wisherd said he’d been to Washington, California and Mexico previously, but this was his first time across the ocean.
The countries he visited during his deployment included Canada, Scotland, Slovenia and Italy.
“My favorite part was walking around seeing Venice,” Wisherd said. “When we were on the boat taking pictures they had a bunch of sculptures and it was really cool, I’ve never seen that before. This whole city is on water and it’s awesome.”
Travel wasn’t the only opportunity Wisherd took advantage of while deployed.
A heavy equipment operator by trade, on this deployment for training he built walls to insulate a water tank in a barn that dates back to 1581. It previously housed the world-famous Lipizzaner horses.
“I’ve learned a lot, my dad is a contractor but I don’t usually help him,” Wisherd said. “I’ve seen some of this being done but actually doing it is actually kind of fun.”
Wisherd said he picked up many tricks to mudding and cutting that he’ll use later in his career.
“It’s kind of an art, you’ve got to be pretty good with your hands,” Wisherd said.
This deployment for training kept his hands busy on and off the job site.
“When I got here, I realized there was more work than I thought,” Wisherd said. “I worked hard and I also got to travel, which was fun. I liked that a lot.”