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Noem: Sending Military Gear to Ukraine Bad, Sending Soldiers to Romania Good

Foreign policy expert Kristi Noem thinks America can’t afford to send military aid to Ukraine but can afford to deploy military personnel to Romania for an entire year to fight fires:

Yesterday, Governor Noem attended the National Guard 216 Fire Fighting Detachment Deployment Ceremony at the Range Road Armory in Rapid City. The unit is deploying to Romania.…

“As Governor, there is no duty I take more seriously than deploying our National Guard into the field…. Romania is an important strategic ally as a member of NATO. We work with these allies to preserve Freedom in the north Atlantic – both in Europe and North America. Your deployment there will strengthen those strategic ties and bolster our alliance in pursuit of Freedom” [Gov. Kristi Noem, press release, 2023.03.17].

Uh oh—if we deploy our Guards to Romania, aren’t we weakening our ability to fight all the fires those sneaky Chinese arsonists will set in the Black Hills and the South Dakota prairie?

Now wrap your head around this part of Noem’s Freedom-fire-fighting: fighting fires in Romania helps preserve Freedom in Europe and North America, but fighting the Russian attempt to wipe out an entire nation and push another Iron Curtain across Europe does not?

But sure, let’s bite on the fire–freedom thing. Over the past twelve months, Romania had 155 satellite fire alerts. Ukraine had 888 fire alerts. 5,200 hectares of land (about 13,000 acres, or 20 square miles) of land burned in Romania in 2022. 37,000 hectares of land burned in Ukraine in 2022. If fires in Europe imperil Freedom in North America, then there’s seven times as much burning peril to Freedom in Ukraine as in Romania.

Holy cow! Firefighters of the 216th, roll your trucks northeast from Bucharest, stop in Moldova for snacks, and roll across the border to Odessa, Mykolaiv, and Kyiv where Freedom needs your help the most!


  1. Mark Anderson 2023-03-21

    Kristi loves starting fires. Just let her launch her fireworks in a tinderbox Hills this summer.

  2. leslie 2023-03-21

    All tuition in SD free for Guards?

    Amends fir abusing deployment to the border?

    She is still dogwhistling her favorite militia, the para militia III%ers and Proud Boys and Oathkeepers, the fool! Her dark camo capped Twitter avatar!! Cripes sake. Sneaky. I’ll bet she does the secret hand shakes and gang signs too.

  3. DaveFN 2023-03-21

    And if Putin reads this deployment to NATO’s Romania differently?

    After all, Ukraine’s desire for NATO membership has been cited as a key factor for Putin’s invasion.

    Does Noem, the foreign policy expert in Cory’s words, have a dang clue her timing may be off if, that is, she has any clue at all?

  4. Donald Pay 2023-03-21

    These sorts of deployments of various National Guard fire fighting units to Romania have been pretty standard over the years. I guess it’s South Dakota’s turn.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2023-03-21

    Maldava is next on Putin’s agenda. It is a linchpin to the area, bordering on Ukraine, Romania, and Hungary. It is also nearly totally defenseless.

  6. DaveFN 2023-03-22

    Donald Pay

    “Standard over the years” would better be entirely rethought considering the current world situation in which we find ourselves.

    One standard size over the years does not fit all.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-03-22

    Standard deployments of valuable US military firefighting equipment to other countries while wildfires increase here at home? These deployments unconscionably weaken our domestic firefighting capacity! Fires in Romania are the Romanians’ problem, not ours… right, Kristi?

  8. Nick Nemec 2023-03-22

    Are these firefighters trained in fighting certain types of fires? Forest fires? Structure fires? Aircraft crash fires?

  9. e platypus onion 2023-03-22

    The only question to be asked is is there a “WhataBurger in Romania?

  10. e platypus onion 2023-03-22

    Maybe Count Dracula can lure Noem over there and keep her for his very own chew toy.

  11. Donald Pay 2023-03-22

    There are various fire-fighting units in the various state guards that have been sent to Romania over the last 10 years. Some units are structural, some are forest fire, some are airport. I’m not sure why, but it seems the purpose is training as well as a way to integrate Romania into NATO. I doubt this came from Governor Weak Sauce. It was probably an opportunity that was offered to the SD Guard, and all Noem had to do was sign an order to deploy and show up for the photo-op.

  12. DaveFN 2023-03-22

    Donald Pay

    “It was probably an opportunity that was offered to the SD Guard, and all Noem had to do was sign an order to deploy and show up for the photo-op.”

    And therein lies the problem. The mindlessness of it all.

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