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TAG Line Sept 27, 2019

N.D. Guard Soldiers Assist Iraqi Bridge Engineers

Six Soldiers of the 957 Engineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge) that deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations last July, are serving as a bridge training team assigned to Task Force Frontier. Their mission is to train, advise and assist the Iraq Army bridge corps. Recently, the N.D. Guard Soldiers conducted four days of classroom style instruction followed by hands on training. The result was completion of their first bridge-building project, a 50-meter ACROW modular bridge system. They continue to partner with the Iraqi Army's bridging engineers improving knowledge and capabilities through training and practical exercises. (Top photo: N.D. Guard members along with their Iraqi Army engineer partners pose on their just assembled ACROW bridge).

68th Troop Command Welcomes New Commander

Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander of the N.D. Army National Guard, presided over a change of command ceremony for the 68th Troop Command at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck on Sept. 22. Lt. Col. Brock G. Larson assumed duties as commander from Col. James R. Olson, who commanded the unit since Sept. 2017. Olson is scheduled to retire in November after more than 29 years of service with the North Dakota National Guard. The change of command ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that represents the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another.

Two battalions within troop command also saw leadership changes last week. On Sept. 20, the 136th Combat Service Support Battalion welcomed a new command team. Lt. Col. Nathan Dicks assumed command from Lt. Cody Volk, while earlier in the day, the unit's Soldiers witnessed a formal change of responsibility for the unit's senior enlisted leader, when Command Sgt. Maj. Cory Everson relinquished his duties to Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Scharnowske. Both ceremonies were conducted at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismarck. The 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment welcomed Lt. Col. Michael Green when he assumed duties as commander from Lt. Col. Doug Larsen on Sept. 21 at the Army Aviation Support Facilty south of the BISMARCK airport.

The 68th Troop Command is a command and control headquarters for more than 800 Soldiers who are organized into two battalions, one company and four separate units. The unit’s primary mission and focus is to provide command and control, as well as training, administrative and logistical support to maintain Soldier and unit readiness for missions stateside and overseas.

Top: Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, right, renders remarks moments after awarding Col. James Olson an award during a change of command ceremony for the 68th Troop Command in Bismarck on Sept. 22. Olson relinquished command to to Lt. Col. Brock Larson. Left Photo: Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck, left, command sergeant major for the 68th Troop Command, hands the unit colors to Col. James Olson during the unit's change of command ceremony. Right photo: Lt. Col Brock Larson, incoming commander accepts the 68th Troop Command's colors from Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan.

141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Change of Command

Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander of the N.D. Army National Guard, presided over a change of command ceremony for the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (141st MEB) at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center on Sept. 22. Lt. Col. Benjamin Cleghorn assumed command from Col. Jon Erickson, who commanded the unit since Oct. 2017. Erickson recently assumed duties as the chief of staff for joint force headquarters of the North Dakota National Guard in Bismarck.

One of the 141st MEB's subordinate battalions also had a change of command last week. On Sept. 21, the Minot-based 164th Engineer Battalion witnessed Lt. Col. Phillip Baker assume command from Lt. Col. Mark Topp.

The 141st MEB is a mission command headquarters for more than 1,700 Soldiers across three battalions that are organized into fifteen companies and batteries. It is a tailorable unit designed to conduct support area operations, maneuver support operations, support to consequence management, and stability operations in order to assure the mobility, protection, and freedom of action of the supported force. 141st MEB provides command and control, as well as training, administrative and logistical support to maintain Soldier and unit readiness for missions stateside and overseas.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Cleghorn, incoming commander, holds the unit colors of the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (141st MEB) during the formal change of command ceremony in Fargo on Sept. 22. Others participating in the ceremony, clockwise from top right are Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Magnuson; Col. Jon Erickson, outgoing commander; and Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander of the N.D. Army National Guard. The passing of the unit colors from the unit’s command sergeant major to the outgoing commander, thru the command authority over the unit, to the incoming commander and back to the command sergeant major is a time honored Army tradition formally symbolizing the change of authority for the Soldiers of the unit to witness.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Magnuson, center, prepares the formation of the 141st Maneuver Enhance Brigade for their change of command ceremony in Fargo on Sept. 22.

Military Economic Impact on North Dakota

In order to keep our stakeholders and members informed, the North Dakota National Guard Internal Review office produces annual Economic Impact Analysis reports. These reports depict the total military economic impact for North Dakota and the impact of the N.D. National Guard alone describing how the military spending supports the state and many of our communities. This year we also created one page summaries of those reports. To view the reports and summaries, please click Economic Impact Analysis.

Military Police Learn About New Army Fitness Test

The top non-commissioned officer of the 816th Military Police Company, 1st Sgt. Travis Sand, instructed his Soldiers on the new Army Combat Fitness Test during the unit's recent weekend training in Dickinson on Sept 21. The new test will be in effective Oct. 1, 2020.

Left: Soldiers of the 816th Military Police Company listen to instructions on the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). Right: 1st Sgt. Travis Sand, left, demonstrates the proper technique for the deadlift event in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

Air Defenders Participate in Grand Forks Community Event

The Soldiers of Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery in Grand Forks participated in a community service event by displaying vehicles and equipment for public education during Grand Forks' Touch a Truck event on Sept. 21. Other participants included the Grand Forks Fire and Police departments; County Sheriff's Department; N.D. Highway Patrol; the Grand Forks City Streets department and a number of civilian businesses. Owner and operators of the equipment provided information to the public by explaining their vehicle's functions.

Spectators check out the National Guard's M1151 Enhanced Armament Carrier on Sept. 21 at Grand Fork's Touch a Truck event.

Attendees of the Grand Forks Touch a Truck event examine an Avenger Air Defense System.
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