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TAG Line December 20, 2019

Wreaths Across America

The Bismarck Composition Squadron of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol (CAP), with the help of the James River Squadron in Jamestown, placed nearly 7,000 wreaths on headstones at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 14. Despite a chilling wind and temperatures below zero, over 1,200 volunteers from the community were on hand to assist the CAP with their mission of honoring all the resting heroes at the cemetery. This was the CAP's 14th year of organizing this remembrance event, Wreaths Across America, which is conducted with the assistance of local businesses and thousands of sponsors all across the country. Top photo: Volunteer Rachael Iverson lays wreaths against the grave stones at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 14.

Col. Paul Harron, N.D. National Guard, carries a wreath to be placed on a stand honoring all of the Soldiers buried at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery. Each branch of the armed services were individually recognized during this remembrance ceremony before wreaths were placed on every grave.

A volunteer carries wreaths at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 14.

Air-Man of Action

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Fontaine, of the N.D. Air National Guard's Minot-based 219th Security Forces Squadron, unexpectedly found himself in position to help save the life of a 91-year-old Williston woman. Just before midnight on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, as he drove south on U.S. Highway 83 near the town of Max, Fontaine noticed flashing lights several yards off the west side of road with two vehicles parked on the shoulder. He saw an ambulance half-submerged in the slough. He learned the three-person ambulance crew managed to escape, but the patient, Dolores Paulson, was still trapped inside the flooding ambulance. Fontaine used his military training to help rescue the patient from the sinking ambulance. Click to read the full story by Minot Daily News.

Top: Tech. Sgt. Ryan Fontaine (as a Staff Sgt.) stands in formation. Bottom: Night and day photos of the ambulance in the slough.

Southwest Border Visit

Last week, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan and other senior leaders of the N.D. Army National Guard visited aviation Soldiers deployed to the southwest border of Arizona in support of Operation Guardian Support. The Guard leaders also met with Jeffrey Self, Deputy Chief for the U.S. Custom and Border Protection's Tucson Sector Arizona, who briefed on the status of the mission. The following day the team spent time with the 12 Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment (Security and Support) and Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment (Assault) on duty at the southwest border.

Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, right, and other N.D Army National Guard leaders met with Jeffrey Self, left, Deputy Chief for the U.S. Custom and Border Protection's Tucson Sector Arizona on Dec 13.

N.D. Army Guard leaders listen to Jeffrey Self, Deputy Chief for the U.S. Custom and Border Protection's Tucson Sector - Arizona. From right, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, Lt. Col. Paul Helten and State Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck.

Sgt. Taylor Trenda, left, and Sgt. Cord Lewis, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment (Assault) receive an Army Commander coin from Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan on Dec. 14 in recognition of their outstanding efforts in maintaining the North Dakota UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the southwest border.

Spc. Jordan Walth, left, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, receives an Army Commander coin from Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan for volunteering for additional duties while serving during Operation Guardian Support.

Preparing for Germany

On Dec. 14, Soldiers of Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment (MEDEVAC) conducted a Situational Training Exercise at McLean Bottoms south of Bismarck. The aviators are using their monthly drill to prepare for an extended annual training in Germany. The aviators will train in Europe with four 29-day rotations of 25 Soldiers each beginning in early spring and ending mid-summer. While at the combined training center in Germany, the N.D. aviators will partner with National Guard Soldiers and aircraft from Wisconsin and Idaho in support of DoD and NATO partners.

Top: Sgt. Raechel Christensen, flight medic, carries a litter to a simulated casualty during a Situational Training Exercise at McLean Bottoms on Dec. 14. Left: Capt. Morris Duffy waits for Christensen to prepare the litter. Right: Soldiers load the simulated casualty into the Lakota helicopter.
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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office
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