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TAG Line June 28, 2019

Top photo: An official party reviews the formation of female Benin soldiers, known as "Amazons". Left to right: Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock; U.S. Ambassador to Benin Patricia Mahoney; Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann; and Benin Chief of Defense, Rear Admiral Patrick Jean Baptiste.

Adjutant General and Senior Enlisted Leader visit SPP Partners

This past week, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general and senior enlisted leader Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock conducted key leader engagements with our three west African State Partnership Program (SPP) partners: Republic of Benin, Togolese Republic and Ghana. Our partnership that began in 2004 with Ghana was so successful it led the North Dakota National Guard (NDNG) to add Benin and Togo as partners more than five years ago. NDNG's leaders visit our SPP partner nations annually to continue building our relationships. The partnerships continue to be a cost-effective way to support combatant commanders and the Department of Defense policy goals

While in Ghana the command team met with General Eric Prempeh, Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO). Dohrmann who also serves as the Director of the North Dakota Department Emergency Services, discussed common emergency response issues and reflected on the benefits of the long term relationship between the two organizations through the SPP. The National Guard and other North Dakota state agencies have trained and worked together with NADMO for the past decade helping plan Ghana's humanitarian response to natural disasters like floods, wildfires and earthquakes.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann and Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock meet with Benin officials and the U.S. Ambassador to Benin Patricia Mahoney on June 24 in Benin.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann (right) prepares to review Togolese troops in the Republic of Togo on June 25.

The North Dakota National Guard command team speaks with General Eric Prempeh, Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in Ghana.

Saber Guardian 2019 Ends

The North Dakota National Guard's 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (141 MEB) and subordinate units returned from their Annual Training during Saber Guardian 2019, an exercise co-led by Romanian Land Forces and U.S. Army Europe. The exercise was conducted from June 3-24 at various locations in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. This experience improved the North Dakota National Guard's ability to partner with other Army units and multinational combat forces. Approximately 330 Soldiers with 230 pieces of rolling stock and equipment from the 141 MEB participated in the exercise. The brigade, as the assured mobility force, took mission command of a multi-component, multi-national task force that numbered nearly 950 Soldiers controlling a wet gap crossing spanning more than 600 meters of the Danube River. The 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division crossed 58 vehicles in less than 2.5 hrs allowing the maneuver force freedom of movement on the far side. The North Dakota National Guard’s 231st Brigade Support Battalion provided logistical support throughout the operation with its convoys driving more than 58,000 kilometers to sustain the force. Additionally, our Guard’s 426th Signal Company ensured communications and network integration with the multinational force throughout the exercise to include establishing three retrans sites allowing the brigade to talk with all subordinate elements by FM communications over 45 kilometers, a range unheard of in previous exercises. Most importantly, the brigade finished the exercise with no major injuries or major accidents.

Top photo: Group photo of the Tactical Command team upon mission completion.Bottom left: Sgt. 1st Class Laura Balliet embraces a dog at the Bangor International airport in Maine during a refueling stop en route home from Romania and Saber Guardian 2019. Bottom right: Col. Jon Erickson (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Magnuson present a gift to the leaders of the 50th Multi-Role Bridge Company at the conclusion of Saber Guardian in appreciation for excellence.

Band Celebrates Army's Birthday

The North Dakota National Guard's 188th Army Band held concerts on June 13 and June 14 in celebration of the U.S. Army's 244th birthday in Grand Forks and West Fargo respectfully, during their Annual Training. The band is in great demand throughout the state because of their professionalism and excellent musical abilities.

Top photo: Saxophone Quartet performs in West Fargo in honor of the U.S. Army's birthday on June 14. Bottom left: Vocalist trio performed "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" on June 13 in Grand Forks. Bottom right: West Fargo citizens enjoying the 188th Army Band performing in celebration of the U.S. Army's 244th Birthday.

State Radio Director Selected

Former Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin will assume duties as the Director of State Radio on July 8. He was appointed by Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, director of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services. Donlin's more than 30 years of law enforcement experience will be of great benefit to the State Radio mission and team. Donlin replaces Mike Lynk who recently retired after more than 10 years as the Director of State Radio.

Most recently, Donlin was employed by the North Dakota Department of Transportation as a safety liaison officer.

ND Cares partners Minot's Kalix

Kalix officially partnered with the ND Cares Coalition on June 25 at a formal ceremony in Minot. Kalix, whose mission is to support privacy, dignity, and purpose for all people, will be a vital link in broadening the ND Cares statewide network, which is dedicated to educating residents about the needs and challenges faced by those who have served and to honoring current and former military members, their families, and survivors. ND Cares continues its efforts to secure partnerships with businesses and communities across North Dakota. Currently there are 47 communities and 18 businesses that have joined the network of support.

Left to right: Sarah Boucher, Director of Human Resources for Kalix; Norlyn Nosworthy, Human Resources Administrator for Kalix; Borgi Beeler, President/CEO of Kalix; Darcie Handt, Executive Director, ND Cares; Cindy Whitesell, ND Cares Co-Chairperson; Colleen Weiand, N.D. National Guard Military Outreach; and Nicole Frohlich, N.D. National Guard Military Outreach.

N.D. Guard Members Play Softball with USA Patriots

Fargo-area law enforcement/military all-star team played a charity softball game vs the USA Patriots (formerly known as Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team on June 14 in Fargo. Several current and former North Dakota Guard members participated.

The USA Patriots is a non-profit whose mission is to bring athletic and veteran amputees together to promote the benefits of inclusive sport and therapeutic recreational activities.The team travels the country playing able-bodied teams in competitive and exhibition softball games, bringing softball, courage, and inspiration to communities nationwide. The team is comprised of competitive, athletic veterans who have lost limbs in combat and non-combat related injuries. The team is scheduled to play in the McQuades softball tournament in Bismarck this upcoming weekend.

Top left: Master Sgt. Nathan Carlson, of the 119th Wing's 119th Medical Group, stands at third base as retired Army veteran Jeff Hackett pitches during a charity softball game between the law enforcement/military all-star team and USA Patriots in Fargo on June 14. Top right: Former North Dakota Army National Guard member and current member of the Grand Forks Sheriff's Department Chris Hutton high fives Annie Hanning during player introductions at the USA Patriots softball game. Bottom: Sgt. Austin Mattson (right), 191 Military Police Company, congratulates Josh Wege, of the USA Patriots on his hit during a charity softball game in Fargo on June 14.