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TAG Line May 17, 2019

Army Band Leads Bismarck Band Night

About 20 Soldiers of the North Dakota National Guard's 188th Army Band out of Fargo, were in Bismarck to showcase their musical skills when they participated in the city's annual Band Night. Over 30 bands and organizations marched in the event.

Our awarding winning band was appointed Grand Marshal of the event and were led by drum major Staff Sgt. Toni DeBerg.

This event helps keep the Band proficient in marching while performing, a task from the unit's Mission-Essential Task List (METL). The METL are collective skills that Army units are required to accomplish.

Marksmanship Competition

Recently, seven N.D. Guard Soldiers participated in the Chief of the National Guard Bureau's Postal Phase III marksmanship competition. The competition was held May 5-11 at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center in Arkansas. These types of competition enhance individual Soldier lethality.

Top left: Soldiers received instructions from cadre at the squad designated marksman course. Top right: Sgt. John Bucklin, 815th Engineer Company aiming on targets. Left to right: 1st Lt. Chad Czeczok, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Regiment (1-188th ADA); Spc. David Gonzalez, 1-188th ADA; Spc. David Satrom, 815th Engineer Company; Pv2 Cole Cirks, 1-188th ADA; Sgt. Josh Bucklin, 815th; Spc. Taylor Busch, 815th; and Staff Sgt. Daniel Wieland (1-188th ADA).

Strategic Partnering

The adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann and senior members of the of the North Dakota National Guard, traveled to Washington D.C. this week to engage with national-level military leaders and congressional delegates regarding critical issues impacting both the North Dakota National Guard and the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services. These strategic engagements are important in securing resources, improving policies and laws that guide our operations, thus helping ensure our organization remains relevant and ready to respond when called.

Senator John Hoeven (left) meets with Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann (center) and other staff members in Washington, D.C. this past week. Hoeven sponsored a bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Kevin Cramer, which addresses the dual compensation issue (currently, G.I. Bill cannot be simultaneously used with Federal Tuition Assistance) while U.S. Rep. Armstrong has agreed to support the 911 Saves Act. All of our N.D. delegates have previously supported the TRICARE Reform Act.

Key topics discussed included Dual compensation of Federal Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill; Duty Status Reform; the use of Title 32 (National Guard members) for disaster preparations; Disaster Reimbursement for non-Presidentially declared events; the 911 Saves Act, and pending and future military construction (MILCON) projects for the NDNG.

While in the nation's capital on May 14, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general (center left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, senior enlisted leader (center right) visited the Togo embassy to meet with the Togolese Ambassador to the United States, the honorable Frederic Edem Hegbe (center) and some of his staff. Visiting with the ambassador helps maintain our great relationship with our State Partnership Program partner.

Dohrmann also addressed attendees during an annual National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) social. All three of our state’s congressional delegation were present along with numerous general officers and retired general officers. Additional members of the audience included members of the North Dakota National Guard and community members from Minot, Grand Forks and Fargo that support the military activity in their respective areas.

MPs Conduct Annual Training in Montana

About 100 Soldiers with the Dickinson-based 816th Military Police (MP) Company are conducting annual training in the Helena, Montana area this month. The MP unit’s annual training is focused on warfighting collective tasks that increase small unit lethality and Soldier proficiency which in turn help build the unit’s combat readiness.

Left: Spc. DeeDee Boehm receives preliminary marksmanship instruction on the MK19 from Staff Sgt. Nathan Greff May 12 at Fort Harrison, Montana. Right: Soldiers with the 816th Military Police Company conduct MK19 table gunnery May 14 at Limestone Hills, near Townsend, Montana. (photos by Spc. Ethan Hauff)
MP Soldiers fire a M2 50 caliber machine gun during their annual training in Montana.
816th Military Police Soldiers practice clearing a building during Urban Operations training.
A Soldier with the 816th Military Police Company fires his M-4 Carbine during Annual Training in Montana.

State Radio Communications Director to Retire

Mike Lynk, the director of North Dakota State Radio Communications System, has announced plans to retire on June 30. State Radio, a component of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and assigned to the Office of the Adjutant General, has over four thousand users representing two hundred and eighty-seven agencies of the local, state, and the federal government. This division, effectively led by Lynk for over ten years, is an extremely important partner in assisting the citizens of North Dakota during disasters or when emergency response is needed. Among his initiatives were the building of a new 9-1-1 dispatch center at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck; the development of Bank 5, a set of channels used in every public safety radio state-wide for mutual aid situations; the advent of Computer Aided Dispatch, and improvements to the interoperable communications capability aiding public safety. Click to read the complete release.

Mr. Mike Lynk, director of North Dakota's State Radio Communications System, will retire June 30.
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