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TAG Line February 21, 2020

Photo: Master Sgt. Kari Appletoft arrives on the flight line at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo upon returning from Exercise Southern Strike 2020 on Feb. 15.

Flood Response Drill 2020

About 50 Soldiers and Airmen of the N.D. National Guard conducted a Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) flood response exercise at the Jamestown Civic Center on Feb. 13. This ROC served as a mechanism to refine and validate flood response plans, an important component in maintaining a high level of readiness.

Left: N.D. National Guard flood response training at the Jamestown Civic Center on Feb. 13. Right: Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan informs media how the N.D. National Guard can assist communities with their flood response when ordered by the governor.

Flood Training in Africa

The N.D. National Guard, in coordination with the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, conducted a flood response tabletop exercise with the Republic of Benin, one of their State Partnership Program nations, Feb. 11-14. This disaster preparedness exercise focused on processes that allowed the National Agency of Civil Protection (NACP), Benin’s equivalent of FEMA, to grow their capacity in disaster planning and response. The agency's goals are to preserve lives, prevent human suffering, and protect critical infrastructure. During the exercise NACP set up a national-level emergency operations center which synchronized guidance and strategic messaging. Exercise participants responded to a variety of simulated emergency situations, worked with stakeholders, and managed critical resources needed for a effectively flood response. Benin firefighters also participated in the exercise by training with their Incident Command System in response to simulated flooding in remote areas of the country.

Bill Brown, N.D. Department of Emergency Services, facilitates a discussion of FEMA's Incident Command System principles to members of Benin's National Emergency Operations Center.

The incident commander and staff discuss how to author a communication message in response to an exercise requirement. Sherry Adams (orange dress), N.D. Public Health Officer, S.W. District, listens to the discussion.

Chief Master Sgt. Bill Kennedy works with the National Emergency Operations Center on logistics and finance planning in Benin.

Members of the N.D. National Guard and other North Dakotans join the Benin Incident Command Team and Benin Emergency Operations Center staff during opening ceremonies of a flood response tabletop exercise in Benin on Feb. 11.

Benin School Donation

Members of the N.D. National Guard and other N.D. state agencies recently conducted a disaster preparedness engagement in Cotonou, Benin, as part of the State Partnership Program. This engagement provided the North Dakotans the opportunity to donate new and used school supplies to the mission operated by the Salesian Sisters of Saint Don Bosco. This mission cares for children that were abandoned or victims of exploitation.

Posing with the donated school supplies and children are N.D. Department of Emergency Services employees Bill Brown and Joe Lies; N.D. State Public Health officer Sherry Adams; and N.D. National Guard Members Col. Robert Fugere, Lt. Col. Mark McEvers, Maj. Moranda Iverson, Maj. Karl Altenburg and Chief Master Sgt Bill Kennedy.

Military Police Detainee Training

The 191st Military Police Company held detainee training at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center on Feb. 8, 2020. This training gives soldiers experience on the responsibilities to guard, protect, and account for detainees. Soldiers learn proper care and treatment from the moment detainees are taken into custody, until their final release or repatriation. They also learn how to handle non-combative personal that are seeking aid and assistance.

Left: Spc. Byron Perry stands guard near the Humvee as 2nd Lt. Travis Johnson takes Spc. Logan Mollman, into custody. Right: Spc. Justin Swanson and Sgt Russel Rogers escort Sgt 1st Class Michael Steier into custody during detainee training.

Employee Advisory Board

The N.D. National Guard's Employee Advisory Board (EAB) held its quarterly meeting at the Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck on Feb. 19. The group conducts open forum discussions with senior leaders in order to share organizational climate and discuss ideas for improving the organization. This meeting's main topics were new employee orientation and mid-term employee engagements.

Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck, State Command Sergeant Major for the N.D. Army National Guard, opened the Employee Advisory Board meeting at the Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck on Feb. 19.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brent Freese C Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment (ASSAULT) addresses members of the Employee Advisory Board during a tour of the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility on Feb. 19.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brent Freese (third from left) C Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment (ASSAULT) addresses members of the Employee Advisory Board during a tour of the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility on Feb. 19.

A member of the Employee Advisory Board looks into a UH-72A Lakota helicopter during a tour of the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility on Feb. 19.

Guard's Liaison Officer/NCO Course

The N.D. National Guard's Domestic Operations Section (DOMOPS) conducted LNO (Liaison Officer) training at the Guard's Army Aviation Readiness Center in Bismarck Feb 18-20. This course prepares Soldiers and Airmen to serve as LNOs at the unit, Regional Response Platform, or headquarters levels during Domestic Support of Civil Authorities operations throughout the state or nationally thru EMAC. The intent of this instruction is to provide an understanding of emergency management terms and concepts while increasing the awareness of FEMA's Incident Command System.

Mr. Eric Jensen, strategic communications chief for the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, discuss media operations with Soldiers and Airmen attending the Guard's LNO course on Feb. 19 at the Army Aviation Support Center.

Southern Strike 2020

More than 80 N.D. Air National Guard members participated in Southern Strike 2020, a total force, multi-service training exercise hosted by the Mississippi Air National in Gulfport and Hattiesburg, Miss. The exercise, held Jan. 30 - Feb. 13, emphasized air-to-air, air-to-ground and special operations forces training opportunities.

N.D. Air National Guard's Senior Airman Gretchen Freed was interviewed at the Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport, Miss. on Feb. 10. Freed, a crew chief assigned to the 119th Wing in Fargo, was participating in her second Southern Strike exercise.

Senior Airman Gretchen Freed prepares an MQ-9 Reaper for transport home to Fargo on Feb. 11 during exercise Southern Strike 2020 in Mississippi. As a Reaper crew chief, she is responsible for launch and recovery of the aircraft.

Senior Master Sgt. Les Ressler provides hand signals as cargo is unloaded from a C-17 Globemaster at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo on Feb. 15. The equipment was used in Southern Strike 2020.

Senior Master Sgt. Ken Taylor, left, helps position equipment for towing as it is unloaded from a C-17 Globemaster at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo on Feb. 15. The equipment was used in Southern Strike 2020.
Tech. Sgt. Matt Swandel moves cargo from a C-17 Globemaster at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo on Feb. 15. The equipment was used in Southern Strike 2020.
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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office
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