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TAG Line August 30, 2019

Air Guard Officers Promoted to Colonel

A pair of Happy Hooligans were promoted to colonel on Thursday, in ceremonies held 200 miles apart; Teresa Luthi McDonough, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander and Tad Schauer, deputy director J3/Director of Military Support Joint Force Headquarters. Brig. Gen. Todd Branden, Assistant Adjutant General - Air, presided over McDonough's promotion in Fargo, while Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund, Deputy Adjutant General, presided over Schauer's promotion in Bismarck. Both officers add to a rich Happy Hooligan history. McDonough is the first female group commander in the 119th Wing while Schauer served as the first commander of the Minot Air Force-based 219th Security Forces Squadron from May 2007 to Aug. 2018. Top photo left: McDonough's colonel rank is placed on her uniform by her father (left) Vergil Luthi and husband Bert while Schauer's rank was applied by his wife Amy.

Left photo: Brig. Gen. Todd Branden (left) administers the oath of office to newly promoted Col. Teresa McDonough. Right photo: Brig. Gen. Bob Becklund (left) presents Col. Tad Schauer the USAF Meritorious Service Medal for his achievements while commanding the 219th Security Forces Squadron, during his promotion ceremony.

N.D. Army Guard Leads Nation in Recruiting Market Share

N.D. Army National Guard (NDARNG) Recruiting & Retention Battalion leads the Nation in DOD contract market share and is the military service of choice in our state. Over a 12 month period ending May 31, 2019 the statewide market share was 59%. This means that six of ten North Dakotans that joined the military this fiscal year chose to enlist in the N.D. Army Natural Guard. The five year enlisted accession average is 257 and Fiscal Year 19 is proving to be the best year since Fiscal Year 2011. With only one month remaining this fiscal year, we have recruited 303 Soldiers.

Top left photo: Staff Sgt. Jared Sundby welcomes new recruit Skyler Keller to the National Guard ranks. Top right and bottom: Sgt. Matthew Wolf poses with newly recruited Soldiers Chantz Halveson and Aku Yawo, respectively.

These recruiting accomplishments means that the NDARNG is exceeding our end strength goal of 2,942 Soldiers with a current strength of 2,944. This was accomplished because of an exceptional recruiting year combined with command emphasis on retention. NDARNG R&R is projecting an attrition rate of less than 12% (12th in the Nation) and a retention rate of greater than 78% (5th in the Nation). With a month to go in the fiscal year, 18 of 27 recruiting and retention non-commissioned officers have already met or exceeded their annual mission. The N.D. National Guard needs qualified Soldiers and Airmen in its ranks in order to meet federal mission requirements and to support our communities.

N.D. Army National Guard Exceeds Standards in Command Cyber Readiness Inspection

The North Dakota Army National Guard recently underwent a Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI). The CCRI is a “snapshot in time” survey of the technical and physical security of information in five separate facilities and interacted with dozens of Guard employees.

While the CCRI focused heavily on Information Technology – and cyber, in particular – it also included assessments on physical security, operational security and user training. The N.D. Army Guard achieved a Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) score of 79% and a non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) score of 85.6%. These scores, which are well above the average of 70%, caused the CCRI team leader to commend our organization for being well-prepared to manage cyber threats across a multi-layered domain. These scores are among the highest the National Guard Bureau has seen in the past twelve months. Thank you to all for their hard work in a successful CCRI.

N.D. Emergency Management Association Conference

Staff from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) met with their emergency management partners this week during the N.D. Emergency Management Association (NDEMA) Conference in Bismarck. The event provided attendees an opportunity to network, strengthen relationships, exchange information and hear from a knowledgeable lineup of guest speakers, which included representatives from the National Weather Service, FEMA and NDDES.

Photo: from left, Mike Smith, Williams County emergency manager; Sherry Adams, chief executive officer, Southwest District Health Unit; and Geneva Anderson, WebEOC administrator for the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, discuss their experiences serving in other states as part of the emergency management assistance compact agreement, or EMAC. EMAC is a national interstate mutual aid agreement that enables states to share resources during times of disaster. Since 2005, NDDES staff have supported others states during disaster events in six locations, including: Louisiana (2005 Hurricane), Mississippi (2011 Flooding), Puerto Rico (2017 Hurricane), Florida (2017 Hurricane), Hawaii (2018 Volcano) and most recently in Oklahoma (2019 Flooding/Tornadoes).

Misty Richardson, an emergency manager from Nevada, discussed response and recovery related to the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas. She also emphasized her team’s commitment to resiliency within their community and how they continue to make it “Vegas Strong.” Michael Willis, director, for Colorado’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management, closed the conference with his presentation covering the response to the 2018 Ransomware attack on the Colorado Department of Transportation. N.D. National Guard members visited with local emergency managers about Vigilant Guard 2020, a large-scale exercise the Guard will host next summer. The NDDES reports to the North Dakota Adjutant General.

Cody Schulz, N.D. Homeland Security director, is pictured with cadets from the N.D. Civil Air Patrol (CAP). The cadets opened the emergency management conference with the “Presentation of the Colors,” in which the flags of the state and nation are carried to the front of the speakers’ stage. The CAP is an official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and consists of senior members and cadets. The North Dakota Wing performs the three primary CAP missions. Providing emergency services; offering cadet programs for youth; and providing aerospace education for both CAP members and the general public.
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