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TAG Line May 7, 2021

Top photo: U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, speaks to Airmen of the 119th Wing during a town hall event at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, North Dakota, May 2, 2021. During his visit, Loh had an opportunity to tour the facilities, get a closer look at the wing’s capabilities answer questions from the Airmen, and speak with them about the status of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Baardson)

Air National Guard Leader Visits Hooligans

Lieutenant General Michael A. Loh, Director of the Air National Guard, toured the 119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard Base, May 2, 2021, during a unit familiarization visit. The director was welcomed by Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, and Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander. (U.S. Air National Guard story by Staff Sgt. Kalley Miller, 119th Wing Public Affairs)

During his visit, he received unit mission and readiness briefings, toured the base to visit with Airmen and hear about issues important to them, and conducted a town hall in the main hanger.

“Our Air National Guard is comprised of 108,000 Guard Airmen across 166 locations in 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia,” Loh said. “And whether it’s been around the world, around the country, or right here in North Dakota, our nation has been reminded that this past year truly has been the year of the Guard.”

The director highlighted some of the missions Guardsmen supported over the past year, from responding to natural disasters - including the largest recorded wildfire in California history - to facilitating COVID-19 testing operations, to answering the call to protect life and property during the widespread civil unrest experienced across the U.S.

The Hooligan Airmen inquired about Air National Guard operations, training continuity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Also during the visit, he recognized six Airmen with his personal coin for their superior performance. Notably, two Hooligans were commended for their efforts in facilitating the transport of N.D. Army National Guard Soldiers and cargo in support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. last January.

In his closing remarks, he thanked the Hooligans not only for their commitment to excellence in the face of numerous challenges over the past 15 months, but also for their readiness to answer the nation’s call.

“I need a National Guard that’s ready for today and prepared for tomorrow,” Loh said. “You are always on mission, and for that, I cannot thank you enough.”

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, left, director, Air National Guard, sits at the head of the table as he is briefed by Col. Mitch Johnson, commander, 119th Wing, at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, North Dakota, May 2, 2021. Loh is visiting the 119th Wing to tour the facilities, get a closer look at the wing’s capabilities and speak with Airmen about the status of the force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

From left: U.S. Air Force Col. Mitch Johnson, commander, 119th Wing, North Dakota National Guard, Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general, North Dakota National Guard, walk together at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, North Dakota, May 2, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, speaks to Airmen of the 119th Wing during a town hall event at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, North Dakota, May 2, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, director, Air National Guard, speaks to Airmen of the 119th Wing at the North Dakota Air National Guard regional training site, North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, North Dakota, May 2, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Sen. Hoeven Visits Wing

Senator John Hoeven visited the 119th Wing on May 3, 2021, where he led a press conference to discuss the new $17.5 million operations building to be constructed at the North Dakota Air National Guard base in Fargo, N.D. The Happy Hooligans expect to break ground on this project, which was appropriated in the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act, later this year. (Air National Guard story by Maj. Jay Sheldon, N.D. National Guard, Strategic Plans and Policy Office)

Other discussions with N.D. National Guard leaders and the media included the future of the MQ-9 Enterprise and newly-passed legislation that allows Air National Guard members to concurrently access Federal Tuition Assistance and Montgomery G.I. Bill educational benefits.

Senator John Hoeven visits with 119th Wing Airmen at the N.D. National Guard Air Base, Fargo, N.D., May 3, 2021. Left, Lt. Col. Chris Domitrovich, 119th Wing vice-commander, and right, Chief Master Sgt. Chris Andvik, 119th Wing command chief. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

N.D. Guard Supports Wildland Fire Fight

Two N.D. Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters responded to an emergency request to assist with the Roosevelt Creek Fire, a 4,000-acre wildland fire in Billings County in western North Dakota, April 30, 2021. (National Guard story by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

The helicopter crews were tasked with employing their 600-gallon buckets to distribute water at the direction of the firefighters on the ground. The National Guard aviators supported this fire on April 30 and May 1, placing 139 bucket loads for an estimated 76,450 gallons of water.

On May 1, 2021, the South Dakota National Guard responded to an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request with two Black Hawk helicopters in support of the efforts to suppress a wildland fire of about 8,000 acres at Mandaree, N.D. The next day a N.D. National Guard Black Hawk helicopter joined them and together over the two days, their 58 bucket loads contributed nearly 24,000 gallons of water to the fire fight.

A North Dakota Army National Guard aviator hauls equipment to his Black Hawk helicopter at the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility, May 1, 2021.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Tim Quintus prepares his Black Hawk helicopter for flight in the hanger at the Army Aviation Support Facility, May 1, 2021. Quintus supported the Roosevelt Creek Fire in Billings County.

A 600-gallon Bambi water bucket sits ready for transport inside a Black Hawk helicopter at the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility, May 1, 2021. The bucket is used in water distribution at the direction of the wildland firefighters on the ground.

A North Dakota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter takes off at the Army Aviation Support Facility en route to supporting the fight to contain the Roosevelt Creek Fire in Billings County, May 1, 2021.

A North Dakota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter places an estimated 550 gallons of water at the direction of the wildland firefighters on the ground working to contain the Roosevelt Creek fire in Billings County, May 1, 2021.
North Dakota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters support the fight in suppressing Billings County's Roosevelt Creek Fire with 600-gallon buckets of water, May 1, 2021.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. National Guard adjutant general, who also serves as the director of the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, praised the partnership, cooperation and the quick and effective response among the agencies fighting the recent wildland fires.

These agencies include the U.S. Forest Service-Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota Forest Service, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, local firefighters, including volunteers, as well as Guard members of the South Dakota and North Dakota National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, right, visits with Rick Connell, Incident Commander, Roosevelt Creek Fire Incident Management Team, near the wildland fire site, May 1, 2021. (National Guard photo by O.C. Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

S.D. Army Aviators Assist with N.D. Wildland Fire

Ten South Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers brought two Black Hawk helicopters to North Dakota, May 1, 2021, to assist containing the wildland fire at Mandaree, N.D. (National Guard story by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

The Guard aviators responded to an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request, an agreement between states to assist each other with personnel and equipment when needed for emergency response. The aviators were members of Company C, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment from Rapid City, South Dakota.

South Dakota National Guard's Staff Sgt. Rachael Hobbs, flight medic, Company C, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment, performs post-flight checks on a Black Hawk helicopter at the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility, May 2, 2021. The helicopter supported the wildland fire response at Mandaree, N.D.
Three Soldiers from the South Dakota National Guard's Company C, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment, Rapid City, South Dakota performed maintenance on their Black Hawk helicopter, at the N.D. Army Aviation Support Facility, Bismarck, N.D., May 2, 2021. The aircraft was supporting the wildland fire at Mandaree, N.D. Left: Sgt. Michael Severin performs maintenance inside a Black Hawk helicopter. Top right: Sgt. Jason O’Connor enters maintenance information. Bottom right: Spc. Mackenzie Weinheimer performs maintenance on top of a Black Hawk helicopter.

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, N.D. National Guard deputy adjutant general, thanked the South Dakota Guard Soldiers at the N.D. Army Aviation Support Facility before they returned home, May 3, 2021. Partnering with a North Dakota National Guard helicopter, the South Dakota crews hauled 58 bucket loads distributing over 23,600 gals of water on the Mandaree, N.D. wildland fire.

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, N.D. National Guard deputy adjutant general, thanks South Dakota National Guard Soldiers for assisting with wildland fires, Bismarck, May 3, 2021.

Soldiers from the South Dakota National Guard's Company C, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment, listen to Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, N.D. Deputy adjutant general, thanking them for their contributions in fighting a wildland fire in North Dakota, May 3, 2021. From left, 1st Sgt. Greg Holland, Spc. Mackenzie Weinheimer and Sgt. Sean Knutson.
The crew of A Black Hawk helicopter, Company C, 1st Battalion, 189th Aviation Regiment, SOUTH DAKOTA NATIONAL GUARD, perform pre-flight checks at the N.D. National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility, Bismarck, N.D., prior to returning home, may 3, 2021.

Guard Members Participate in Wildland Fire Training

The North Dakota Forest Service and the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, is partnering with the N.D. National Guard in conducting wildland firefighter certification. The purpose of this training is to teach Guard members fire response tactics in the event the National Guard is asked to assist first responders on the ground fighting wildland fires. (National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Before the start of class, N.d. Guard Members receive their fire protection equipment at the N.D. Department of Emergency Services warehouse, bismarck, N.D., may 6, 2021.

2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition

Cpl. Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company and Sgt. Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, are participating in the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition (BWC) at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 4 to 8, 2021. (National Guard story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Besides North Dakota, the five-day event includes competitors from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming competing in the Soldier and non-commissioned officer categories. Doss and Wendland are among 16 Soldiers participating in this year's event for the opportunity to advance to the national-level BWC competition.

N.D. Army National Guard Cpl. Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company, completes the low-crawl obstacle during the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, on May 5, 2021. (National Guard photos by Maj. Leslie Reed, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

N.D. Army National Guard Cpl. Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company, tackles the low-belly over obstacle during the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 5, 2021.

N.D. Army National Guard Cpl. Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company, rappels down a 62-foot tower as part of an icebreaker event to kick off the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 4, 2021.

Right: N.D. Army National Guard Sgt. Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, rappels down a 62-foot tower at Camp Rilea, Oregon, May 4, 2021.

Sergeant Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, executes the farmer’s walk with two kettlebells during the Modified Tactical Athlete Performance Assessment at the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition, Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 4, 2021.

Corporal Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company, and Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. John Mayer, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, run during the Modified Tactical Athlete Physical Assessment, at the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 4, 2021. Competitors completed nine events, such as the standing long jump, 300-yard shuttle run, pull-ups, goblet squats, and hand-release push-ups.
Sergeant Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, waits for his turn at the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition board interview at Camp Rilea, May 4, 2021. Appearing before the board was one of several evaluable events over the multi-day competition.

Hooligans Wrap-up at Southern Strike

Nearly 100 N.D. Air National Guard (NDANG) members, better known as the Happy Hooligans, returned home this week after participating in Exercise Southern Strike 2021 at the Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC), Gulfport, Mississippi. (U.S. Air National Guard story and photos by Chief Master Sgt. David Lipp, 119th Wing Public Affairs)

Happy Hooligans of the 119th Wing exit a C-17 Globemaster as they return from Exercise Southern Strike at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., May 1, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kalley Miller)

Southern Strike 2021 is a large-scale, joint and international combat exercise, hosted by the Mississippi National Guard, which features counter-insurgency, close air support, non-combatant evacuations, and maritime special operations.

Approximately 2,000 service members – active, reserve, and guard – participated in the joint, international combat exercise. This year’s Southern Strike marked the 10th anniversary of this exercise, which was the first of its kind. The exercise took place from April 15 to 29, 2021.

119th Wing Airmen descend the steps of a C-17 Globemaster aircraft as they return from Exercise Southern Strike at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., May 1, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Baardson)

Colonel Ryan Ayers, the 119th Operations Group commander, left, and Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander, greet unit members Senior Airman Chris Heinrich, and Staff Sgt. Anthony Coronato as they return from Exercise Southern Strike at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., May 3, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

Participants experienced exercise scenarios that included commercial vessel seizures, hostage situations and non-combatant evacuation operations. Southern Strike is committed to providing real-world training to prepare participants for a variety of possible missions. N.D. Air National Guard MQ-9 Reaper aircraft launched from the Gulfport CRTC and conducted inert munitions drops at the Camp Shelby, Mississippi, Air-to-Ground range for training during the exercise.

Airman Grayson Eback, 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron, pushes a cargo container as he helps unload it from a C-17 aircraft at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., May 1, 2021. The cargo was returning from Exercise Southern Strike at the Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Mississippi. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

119th Wing members walk across the flight line as they return from Exercise Southern Strike at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., May 3, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp)

New Army Command Chief Welcomed

The N.D. Army National Guard conducted a change of responsibility ceremony for the command chief at Camp Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D., May 1, 2021. (National Guard story by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kiel Skager, who has served as command chief since November 2017, relinquished authority to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Dorneman in a ceremony hosted by Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, N.D. Army National Guard commander. Dorneman, who earned his commission in 2008 as an Ordnance Warrant Officer, served three years in the U.S. Army before joining the N.D. Army National Guard in 1988. He currently serves full-time as the shop chief of Field Maintenance Shop (FMS) #4, Bismarck, N.D.

Left, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kiel Skager and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Dorneman.

Immediately after the change of responsibility, Skager was honored at a retirement ceremony celebrating nearly 35 years of military service. Ryan presented him with the Legion of Merit in recognition of his superb career and many noteworthy accomplishments.

Camp Grafton Hosts “Air Domain Awareness Demonstration"

Professional Development

Maj. Jacy Voglewede, J5/9, gave a presentation on Change Management: ADKAR and ICE Introduction for the organization's professional development in Bismarck, May 3, 2021. ADKAR stands for awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement, and represents the five steps an individual must take to change successfully. ICE stands for interactive customer evaluation, a web-based program for feedback use to evaluate internal and external projects. The presentation encouraged employees to use these tools to improve office interactions, enhance performance objectives, and sharpen their leadership skills. Professional development seminars are held quarterly, are open to all employees and attendance is highly encouraged. For more information on the ICE program, contact Maj. Voglewede at 701-333-2043. (National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office.)

Salute to Brad Brown - 30 years of Service

Lt. Col. Brad Brown was honored at a retirement ceremony at the Raymond J. Bohn Armory theater, May 2, 2021. Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber presided over the event sharing many personal stories about Brown and his successful military career that spanned over three decades of service to the nation and the state. Brown was presented the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his service. (National Guard story and photos by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

Left, Lt. Col. Brad Brown renders a final salute to his family, friends and fellow Guard members, after addressing the guests at his retirement ceremony at Raymond J. Bohn Armory, May 2, 2021. Bottom right: Brown renders remarks. Top right, Brown's family.

Marschner Honored at Retirement Ceremony

First Sergeant Richard Marschner, Joint Force Headquarters, was honored at a retirement ceremony in Bismarck, N.D., May 1, 2021. Marschner was recognized for over 36 years of exceptionally meritorious service to the N.D. National Guard. Has served in Iraq as a platoon sergeant and Kosovo as a first sergeant. Marschner also assisted during domestic operations like Hurricane Katrina and the North Dakota floods of 2009 and 2011. Marschner was presented the North Dakota National Guard State Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his outstanding military career. (National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Right; Lt. Col. Brad Brown, Joint Force Headquarters, presents the North Dakota National Guard State Meritorious Service Medal to 1st Sgt. Richard Marschner, Joint Force Headquarters, during his retirement ceremony at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck on May 1.

70 Years Since Korea

In January 1951, the N.D. National Guard's 164th Infantry Regiment and the 188th Field Artillery Battalion, were ordered to active military service with the Minnesota National Guard's 47th “Viking” Division in support of the U.S. role in the Korean War.

After traveling to their duty station at Camp Rucker, Alabama, the North Dakota Guard Soldiers trained Soldiers in infantry and artillery skills. Several N.D. National Guard Soldiers were ordered to serve overseas as replacements, based on the needs of the units fighting in Korea.

War Stories – Roy Kositzki

“Radar, get on the horn to the Eight-Oh-Sixty-Third,” barks Col. Sherman T. Potter, commander of the fictional 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital on the popular TV program M*A*S*H*.

The 8063rd MASH was a real-world U.S. Army unit often referenced on this television program. It was the first MASH unit to participate in the Korean War and the first to use a version of the Bell H-13 Sioux helicopter for medical evacuation.

LeRoy Kositzky, who mobilized with Company E, 164th Infantry Regiment, Williston, N.D., served with the 8063rd MASH. “The television program MASH was kind of like the 8063rd”, said Kositzky, who volunteered to go to Korea after becoming bored with training new Soldiers at Camp Rucker, Alabama.

He was initially assigned as noncommissioned officer in charge of an enemy prisoner of war camp, but was intrigued by a request for medics at the 8063rd MASH, located just 10 miles from the front lines.

The 8063rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, circa 1952. (Photo courtesy Dr. John B. Sanford, 8063rd MASH, from the Minnesota Public Radio website)

Corporal LeRoy Kositzky, second from the right posing with fellow Soldiers in Korea, circa 1952. Other Soldiers' names are unknown.

In what sounded like a test for a newbie, the unit fed him a big meal, then sent him to a tent where a doctor was performing an autopsy. “Being a farm boy, that did not bother me too much,” wrote Kositzky. “So the doctor assigned me to the post-operative tent as a medical technologist”. He served with the 8063rd MASH from November 1951 to September 1952.

Cpl. LeRoy Kositzky, 8063rd MASH stands with an Bell H-13 Sioux helicopter, used for medical evacuation during the Korean War, circa 1952.

After the war, he used his GI Bill to study at North Dakota State University in Fargo, serving with the local N.D. Air National Guard before eventually transferring back to Company E, 164th Infantry Regiment at Williston, N.D.

In 1957, Kositzky moved to Bismarck and served as the first sergeant of the newly formed Medical Detachment of the 188th Field Artillery Battalion.

Soldiers assigned to the Bismarck-based 188th Field Artillery Medical Detachment. Kneeling from Left: 1st Lt. Dave Hestor, commander; and Sgt. 1st Class LeRoy Kositzky. Standing from left: Spc. Lenard Marcovitz and (rank unknown) W. Wiedrick.

Cpl. LeRoy Kositzky.

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