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TAG Line March 20, 2020

Team North Dakota placed second overall in the recent U.S. Army Small Arms Championships competition and are depicted in the photo above. Left to right: Sgt. Tyler Goldade, Staff Sgt. Gavin Rook, Staff Sgt. Tyrel Hoppe and Staff Sgt. Daniel Wieland stand near the AMU equipment trailer.

Always preparing, always REady

Like so many other agencies and businesses, the N.D. National Guard is also affected by the COVID 19 situation. We began the week by educating the full-time force with facts on the current situation before moving to planning meetings which helped us prepare for state active duty if ordered by the Governor. Currently, we have Guard members serving in planning and liaison roles with the N.D. Department of Health, Department of Public Instruction and in the State Emergency Operations Center.

It's imperative that the N.D. National Guard maintains a healthy force so that we are able to effectively mobilize forces if needed. Based on federal, DoD, and state directives, we have implemented various measures to protect our force. As the week progressed more guidance was issued regarding social distancing and many full-time members began to work from home. Although our immediate focus is on the COVID-19 virus, we continue to monitor the potential for flooding on the eastern side of the state. We are prepared to respond simultaneously to both emergencies if necessary. Follow us on Facebook to stay informed on latest developments.

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, briefs the full-time National Guard force at Raymond J. Bohn armory on the COVID-19 virus on March 16. This event that was televised across the state, was the last time Guard members will meet en masse until the threat has subsided.
Representatives of various N.D. National Guard staff sections met on March 17 to conduct Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) to develop courses of action of supporting the state with COVID-19 virus and flood response. By methodically conducting this process we are able to prepare for additional tasks from the Department of Emergency Services in support of other agencies or municipalities.
Members of the N.D. National Guard's Joint Operations Center (JOC) monitor COVID-19 virus status on March 17. The JOC has temporarily moved to Raymond J. Bohn in the face of renovations in their home building at Fraine Barracks.
Lt. Col. Brock Larson, director of J-5/9 Strategic Plans, Policy and Outreach, center right, leads the Engagement Strategy Meeting at Fraine Barracks on March 19. This bi-weekly meeting which usually draws 20 to 25 individuals, relied on phone conferencing while those present exercised a social distancing recommended by health professionals. Clockwise from bottom left, Maj. Jay Sheldon, Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, Col. John Gibbs, Mr. Chris Martens, Larson and Maj. Amber Schatz.

N.D. Guard Marksmen Continue to excel

The U.S. Army Small Arms Championships commonly referred to as 'All Army', was held at Fort Benning, Ga., from March 9-14. This annual competition is hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in conjunction with the Maneuver Center of Excellence with the goal of advancing marksmanship, a critical military skill. More than 220 participants from across all U.S. Army components competed. National Guard Airmen are eligible to compete with National Guard Soldiers.

The team placed first as rifle champions, second place in the Multi-Gun team and Match Team Pistol, and third overall in both the U.S. Army Service Pistol Team and Infantry Team matches.

Competitors fired both rifles and pistols during the event with the courses of fire varying each day. Some matches required combat equipment while others were fired "slick," or no combat equipment.

Left: N.D. National Guard rifle team engages targets en route to a first place finish in rifle competition.

Goldade placed first in the overall service rifle as well as taking first place in the Rifle Match 8 event and third place in the Director's Match Rifle National Match and Rifle Excellence in Competition Match. Rook placed first in the Rifle Excellence in Competition match and ranked fifth overall in the U.S. Army Small Arms Individual Champion. Wieland placed first in the non-distinguished category of the Rifle Excellence in Competition enabling him to upgrade his U.S. Army excellence in competition badge from bronze to silver.

Right: Wieland prepares to engage targets during the rifle match of the U.S. Army Small Arms Championships competition.

Hoppe engages targets during the Excellence in Competition portion of the U.S. Army Small Arms Championships competition.
Left to Right: Staff Sgt. Tyrel Hoppe, Staff Sgt. Daniel Wieland, Staff Sgt. Gavin Rook and Sgt. Tyler Goldade display their team and individual awards earned last week at U.S. Army Small Arms Championships competition.

Military Funeral Honors

Camp Grafton Training Center hosted a level one Military Funeral Honors (MFH) course this week. Two instructors led nine students through a week's worth of instruction and evaluation intended to enhance and test their skills. The level one course is conducted for Soldiers who have completed the initial three-day course and have served as MFH members. The N.D. MFH have offices in Bismarck, Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot. From these locations they serve the entire state averaging over 700 funerals a year. They primarily support U.S. Army funerals, but have supported other branches when requested. Last October, a N.D. National Guard MFH supported the U.S. Navy during the funeral of Radioman 2nd Class Floyd A. Wells. Wells, a World War II-era Sailor originally from Cavalier, N.D., was interred at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.

Military Funeral Honors students stand inspection by instructor Sgt. Mark Kubat (far right). From left are Staff Sgt. Adam Greff, Cpl. Mia Brunelle, Sgt. Kathryn McLaughlin, Sgt. Ashley King and Sgt. Anthony Rhoden.

Military Funeral Honors instructor Sgt. Mark Kubat performs a uniform inspection on Sgt. Anthony Rhoden during the end of course testing on March 20.

Military Police Training

Soldiers of Detachment 1, 191st Military Police Company conducted tough effective training at the Grand Forks armory March 14 & 15.

Left: Sgt. Cabel Boyer demonstrated burn treatment and wrapping techniques on Spc. Veronica Belgarde, during the Detachment 1, 191st Military Police Company (MP) medical training class in Grand Forks on March 14. Top right: Soldiers practice detainee operations by creating a Detainee Holding Area (DHA). The DHA consisted of a check-in area, a search area, medical check area, and separate holding areas for males and females. Bottom right. Spc. Hailee Durley and Spc. Eric Woodcock escort an Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW), portrayed by Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Gowan, to the DHA for processing.

Ghanaian Troops learn about Preventive MAINTENANCE Checks and Services (PMCS)

The second week of the N.D. National Guard engineer engagement in Ghana began with instructions on the importance of regular vehicle maintenance. Guard instructors emphasized the many aspects of a construction project including individual equipment proficiency, project management, safety and equipment maintenance. Operators were introduced to daily PMCS (Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services) during the training.

Sgt. Geran Rick shows Ghanaian engineers how to conduct PMCS on a bulldozer on March 9 in Ghana, Africa.

Staff Sgt. Chad Good (right) introduces Ghana Army engineers to grader PMCS on March 9.

Spc. Luke Abell shows Ghana engineers how to check the oil in a vibratory roller during PMCS on March 9.

Engineer instructors Staff Sgt. Chad Bakken (left) and Staff Sgt. Chad Good (far right) introduce Ghana Army engineers to grader PMCS operations.

First Aid Training in Ghana

Road construction wasn't the only training in Ghana the past two weeks. N.D. National Guard medic Staff Sgt. Jesse Zyskowsky was present to ensure the health and wellbeing of all training participants. While keeping an eye out for medical emergencies during equipment training, Zyskowsky conducted medical first aid training for the Ghanaian soldiers.

Left: Staff Sgt. Jesse Zyskowsky, demonstrates how to set a broken arm at a first aid class March 11. Right: Zyskowsky discusses the importance of properly securing a broken arm during first aid training.
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