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TAG Line November 8, 2019

Planning begins for vigilant guard 2020

Members of the N.D. National Guard, N.D. Department of Emergency Services along with other state agencies gathered at Bismarck State College Wednesday and Thursday to begin initial planning for Vigilant Guard (VG) 2020. This national-level exercise, co-sponsored by U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard Bureau, is scheduled in North Dakota for Aug. 3 to 6, 2020. This four-day exercise will test the state’s disaster and emergency response capabilities to respond to multiple disasters, certify emergency action plans, and strengthen partnerships among military and civilian agencies. Top photo: Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann thanks participants and discusses the importance of the VG 2020 exercise. As adjutant general, Dohrmann commands the N.D. National Guard and serves as the Director of the N.D. Department of Emergency Services.

Working group members from across Team North Dakota spent two days planning for VG 2020. This is the first of three major planning events that will take place prior to VG 2020 in August.
Lt. Col. Barb Lowe (right) discusses plans for VG 2020 with Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Webster (right) and Lt. Col. Cody Volk (center).

Happy Hooligans ISR Group fully operational

On Sept. 30, the 119th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Group, of the 119th Wing, formally declared Full Operational Capability (FOC) after achieving milestones in the areas of recruitment, training and communication systems. The mission involves analyzing potential targets and providing solutions to deceive, degrade, disrupt or destroy those targets, considering operational requirements and capabilities for combatant commanders in their plans and operations. This process began in March 2013, when the 119th Wing created this unit and began filling key leadership positions and offering cross-training opportunities to qualified unit members. The new group included kinetic and non-kinetic targeting missions, a first in the Air National Guard. The group was formally recognized during a ceremony in October 2013. The past six years were filled with challenges, opportunities, risks and rewards.

The 119th ISR Group now has trained and ready Airmen with essential facilities and equipment required to conduct training and execute a world-class, operational targeting mission. The ISR Group is prepared to support combatant commanders world-wide with its two subordinate units, the 176th Intelligence Squadron and the 177th Intelligence Squadron.

Top and bottom left photo: Airmen working in the 177th Intelligence Squadron Secure Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) area of the 119th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Group at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo. Right bottom photo: Airmen working at computers in the 176th Intelligence Squadron's SCIF of the 119th ISR Group Air National Guard Base in Fargo.

N.D. guard partners with State agency

The N.D. National Guard’s 81st Civil Support Team (CST) conducted joint training with the N.D. Department of Health Microbiology Lab on Nov. 6 in Bismarck. The CST was exercising the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the state lab allowing the pre-screening of suspicious packages for radiological, chemical and biological warfare agents prior to the packages entering their building. Screening for these agents is a joint endeavor. The first step in examining a suspicious package is to x-ray it to determine if explosives are present. When a suspicious package has been evaluated and determined to have no leaks or radiation, and is not explosive, it is opened inside a glove box (a sealed container isolated from room atmosphere and lab environment) to determine if any chemical or biological warfare agents are present. Today's exercise validated our joint processes and procedures and ensured our MOA is still relevant.

81st CST members Sgt. Travis Johnson, far left and Sgt. Brent Lafontaine, complete their monitoring of the Biological Agent Transport (BAT) kit as N.D. state lab employees Lexi Ruuckdaschel, far right, and Maddie Kuklok prepare the package to be x-rayed.

Lexi Ruuckdaschel, left, Sgt. Travis Johnson (left of glovebox), Sgt. 1st Class John Noyes, in glovebox, Sgt. Brent Lafontaine,right of glovebox, and Maddie Kuklok prepare the suspicious package to be opened and evaluated for chemical and biological warfare agents inside the glovebox.

Army command conducts FY20 Mid-Planning Conference

The N.D. Army National Guard conducted Fiscal Year 20 (FY20) Annual Training Mid-Planning Conference (MPC) from Nov. 5 to Nov. 6 at the N.D. Regional Training Institute at Camp Grafton Training Center. The primary objectives of this conference include: final coordination of the FY20 Annual Training plans; an overview of projects available at CGTC along with the required support equipment; funding and unit support requirements as well as reviewing training objectives for current and next fiscal year.

Photo: Capt. Joseph P. Terveen, assistant training officer, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade briefs the FY20 plan to include Vigilant Guard and Warfighter Exercises.

fugere promoted to colonel

Rob Fugere was promoted to colonel on Nov. 1 at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck. Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, Army component commander for the N.D. National Guard, served as the presiding officer over the promotion ceremony. Fugere serves as the N.D. Army National Guard's G-3, training and operations officer.

Left photo: Rob Fugere's son Greyson applies his father's rank during Fugere's promotion to colonel on Nov 1. Right photo: Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, right, administers the oath of office to newly promoted Col. Rob Fugere at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck.

New n.d. guard attorney

On Nov. 7, Mr. Chris Martens was sworn into the State Bar of North Dakota. Martens moved from Hawaii to assume duties as a civilian attorney with the N.D. National Guard legal office. Martens has been a National Guard member for seventeen years and recently transferred to the N.D. National Guard.

N.D. Supreme Court Justice Jerod Tufte, right, administers the oath and pledge admitting Chris Martens to the State Bar of North Dakota on Nov. 7. Martens was recently assigned as an attorney with the N.D. National Guard. Tufte is a former N.D. Army National Guard officer.

Homeward Vets Project in conjunction with West Fargo VFW.

North Dakota Air National Guard volunteers are assisting the Homeward Vets Project, an initiative sponsored by the West Fargo VFW. The project provides furniture to eligible Veterans in need. Volunteers pick up donated furniture and store the furniture until needed during their off-duty hours.

Father and son Happy Hooligan team of Master Sgt. Mark Paler, left, and Airman Tanner Paler carry a chair onto a flatbed trailer at a home of a furniture donor to the Homeward Vets Project on their off-duty time in West Fargo, on Nov. 4. N.D. Air National Guard members Tech. Sgt. Colter Pratt, right, and Master Sgt. Mark Paler carry donated furniture into a storage garage during their off-duty hours in West Fargo.
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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office
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