TAG Line May 10, 2019

2019 Region VI Best Warrior Competition

The 2019 Region VI Best Warrior Competition took place this week at North Dakota National Guard's Camp Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake. Top photo: North Dakota National Guard's Sgt. Casey Drege, of the 957th Engineer Company, participates in the 2-mile run portion of the Army Physical Fitness Test.

Top left: Best Warrior competitor reads a map during night land navigation course. Right: Competitors pull simulated casualties (a 280 lb. sked) during the Region VI 2019 Best Warrior Competition at Camp Grafton Training Center, Devils Lake, ND. Bottom Left: North Dakota National Guard's Army Component commander, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, welcomes competitors to the Best Warrior Competition hosted by the North Dakota Army National Guard.

Soldiers competing for the "Best Warrior" title hail from Wyoming, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, South Dakota and North Dakota. There were four days of competition, May 6-9

Top left: Sgt. Paul Mannelly, Oregon Army National Guard, appears before Soldiers board manned by command sergeants major. Bottom left: Staff Sgt. Cory Cody, S.D. National Guard, crawls under barb wire at the confidence course while another competor (right) Sgt. Trenton Kammerman, Idaho Army National Guard negotiates the overhead ladder.

2019 Region VI Best Warrior Competition participants begin their 12-mile forced march at Camp Grafton Training Center, Devils Lake, N.D. on May 7.

Sgt. 1st Class Adam Walsvik of the North Dakota National Guard, carries ammo cans as an additional task during the weapons qualification portion of the Region VI Best Warrior Competition on May 7.

Sgt. Paul Mannelly, Oregon National Guard won the Best Warrior NCO of the Year and Sgt. Peter Bennett, Idaho National Guard was recognized as Best Warrior Soldier of the Year. For more photos visit Flickr 2019 Region VI Best Warrior Competition photos.

Vice President Mike Pence visits Fargo Area

Vice President Mike Pence arrived at Hector Air Base, home of the 119th Wing in Fargo on May 9. His primary purpose was to visit with farmers in the Red River valley. More photos.

Top left: Vice President Mike Pence arrives at Hector Air Base, home of the 119th Wing in Fargo on May 9. right: Pence is greeted by 119th Wing Airmen. bottom: Pence was greeted by Brig. Gen. Todd Branden, North Dakota assistant adjutant general for Air, and former U.S. Representative Rick Berg.

North Dakota National Guard Team Participates in Lincoln National Guard Marathon

Four members of the North Dakota National Guard participated in this year's annual Lincoln National Guard Marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska on May 5.

Pictured above from the left with their run times: Capt. Aaron Kramer, 3:34:49; 136th Combat Service Support Battalion; Lt. Col. Nathan Dicks, 3:26:34, JFHQ; Sgt. First Class Eric Schafer, 3:24:48, 426th Signal Company; Spc. Alexander French, 5:19:05, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment. This was the first marathon for Schafer and French.

According to team manager Maj. Mike Champagne, the team that was used to frigid, below average spring temperatures in North Dakota, had to "battle 70 degree heat during this marathon". Sgt. 1st Class Eric Schafer's time was good enough to qualify as an alternate on the All-Guard marathon team.

Aviation Resource Management Surveys (ARMS)

Recently, North Dakota Army National Guard Aviation underwent an intensive inspection of its two Aviation Support Facilities and all of its rotary wing units. The GSA-sponsored Aviation Resource Management Survey (ARMS) is a comprehensive look at 10 functional areas and over 50 sub-areas that range from maintenance and safety to standardization, training and many areas required for a successful and safe Army aviation program. The 9-person ARMS team arrived on May 2 and continued its inspection until close of business on May 6. The team evaluated all programs with over 2000 questions, with multiple written and hands on tests.

Top: The 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment (1-112th Avn Bn) pre-inspection briefing was conducted by ARMS team member Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jeffery Angle. Left: Master Sgt. Clay Channell of the ARMS team, conducts an after action review with the staff of the North Dakota National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) after responding to a simulated fuel spill. Right: Angle conducts a review of the 1-112th Avn Bn’s training and command programs.

The ARMS program helps federal agencies manage aviation assets. Although each individual facility and unit receives its own score, in the end most areas recieved high percentage scores and passing grades in all functional areas. The ARMS validated the high quality and professionalism of our North Dakota Army aviation team verifying their readiness and lethality.

Civil Air Patrol Conference

The 2019 North Dakota Civil Air Patrol (CAP) conference was held in Jamestown on May 4 and was hosted by the James River Composite Squadron. Speakers included the commander of the North Dakota Wing, Colonel John Steiner and the keynote address was delivered by Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general. Dohrmann's comments focused on N.D. CAP accomplishments over the last year and their continued contributions to the citizens of North Dakota. After the speakers, the conference recognized unit and individuals with the presentation of awards such as Cadet Unit of the Year; Squadron of Merit; and the Gill Robb Wilson award citation which recognizes the highest professional development by a CAP senior member.

Left top: Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general, presents CAP Maj. Justin T. McDowell the Gill Robb Wilson award for exceptionally distinguished service in the CAP Senior Member Training Program. Right top: Members of the N.D. Civil Air Patrol listen to remarks at their annual conference in Jamestown on May 4. Bottom: CAP Col. John Steiner, CAP North Dakota Wing commander, presents CAP Cadet Sr. Master Sgt. Madison R. Cogley, the CAP Achievement Award for outstanding duty performance.

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. For more information please visit the North Dakota CAP website.

Army Commander's Back Brief

The Army Commander for the North Dakota National Guard, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, received Fiscal Year 20 Command Guidance back briefs from subordinate commands at Camp Grafton Training Center on May 4. Key officers and Non-commissioned officers participated.

Top left: Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, Army Commander for the North Dakota National Guard, renders remarks to the Soldiers assembled for the Fiscal Year 20 back briefs on May 4 at Camp Grafton Training Center. Top right: Officers and non-commissioned officers listen to other units' Fiscal Year 20 training plans while awaiting their turn. Bottom: Senior North Dakota Army National Guard leaders join Ryan (right center in gray) on May 4 for a morning run before the formal briefings began.

The primary purpose for these back briefs is to inform and to gain the Army Commander's concurrence for unit training plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The briefs also inform the Army Staff of support requirements and resources needed to meet these upcoming training and operational objectives.

Medical Awards

North Dakota Army National Guard was recognized for Best Medical Readiness for 2019, small state category, at the National Guard medical team conference on May 6-10 at Camp Dawson, West Virginia. This recognition validates that our professional medical team continually helps ensure that our Soldiers are medically prepared. These areas were evaluated to determine this year's winner: Combat Medic Specialist re-certification; percentage of military credentialed medical providers; and execution of National Guard medical budget. Additionally, Col. Brian Keller received the Maj. Gen. Deborah C. Wheeling "Award of Excellence" for being recognized as the best deputy state surgeon in the nation.

Left to right. Brig. Gen. Jill Faris, deputy chief of staff for support, U.S. Medical Command; Col Brian Keller, deputy State Surgeon; Col. Michael Pelzner, Chief Surgeon, National Guard Bureau; and Sgt. Maj. Sherry Blackwell, sergeant major, Surgeon Office, National Guard Bureau. Keller was recognized as the top deputy state surgeon within the National Guard nation-wide.

North Dakota National Guard Military Police Participated in State Partnership Program in Benin

North Dakota National Guard Soldiers from the 816th Military Police (MP) Company conducted a MP engagement with the Benin armed forces in western Africa April 1 thru 12. The 10-day training was the scenario based practical exercise of establishing a cordon and search to incorporating medical, Close Quarters Combat (CQC) and hostage rescue of a U.S. Soldier. The Benin Soldiers did a great job on mission planning, rehearsals, a sand table and full executions of operations and missions which incorporated the training of CQC elements.

Top: Staff Sgt. Matt Binegar and Sgt. Bryan Moch, of the 816th MP Company, discuss principles of personnel searches and detainment with the Benin Armed Forces. Left: Benin Armed Forces Soldiers practice detainment techniques. Right: Binegar and Moch demonstrate entry control point procedures to Soldiers of the Benin Armed Forces.

The practical exercise of establishing a Traffic Control Point was transitioned into scenario based training incorporating vehicle searches, occupant searches, along with establishing roles and responsibility of officer and non-commissioned officers-in-charge, over-watch, medics, and search elements.

Warrant Officer 1 Jasmine Nitschke explains capabilities and use of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the Bismarck Airport on May 8. The North Dakota Army National Guard aircraft was one of many static displays at Bismarck Aero Center's Aviation Career Day.

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