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TAG Line June 7, 2019

North Dakota Guard Soldiers Head for Romania

About 400 Soldiers from the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) and subordinate units, left North Dakota for Romania to participate in exercise Saber Guardian 2019. Soldiers will conduct convoy and mobility operations, sustainment support and other field training during the exercise. SB19 is co-led by Romanian Land Forces and U.S. Army Europe and takes place from June 3-24 at various locations in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania and is designed to improve the integration of multinational combat forces. (Top photo: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chedric Phillips, of the 141st MEB, boards charter aircraft bound for Romania Friday in Fargo.)

Top left: Soldiers from the Maneuver Enhancement (MEB) board buses headed for Hector Airport in Fargo, en route to Saber Guardian 2019 in Romania. Bottom left: Maj. Ryan Schulz, 141st MEB, receives a "high-five" from one of the Soldiers boarding a charter aircraft bound for Romania. Right: 1st Sgt. Nicholas Clark, 141st MEB, takes roll as Soldiers board the charter aircraft June 7 in Fargo.

North Dakota National Guard's Role in WWII

June 6th, 2019 we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the landing of U.S. and Allied forces at Normandy, France which opened a western front against Nazi Germany. While no North Dakota National Guard units directly participated in the June 6, 1944 landing, (D-Day), two units followed the invasion force a few days later. Here's a snapshot of the three North Dakota units during that time in the war.

D+5 - June 11, 1944: The 188th Field Artillery Group and 188th Field Artillery Battalion landed on Utah Beach. Over the course of the war, the Battalion fired over 71,000 rounds, had 12 Soldiers killed in action (KIA) and 30 wounded in action (WIA). While attached to the 3rd Armored Division, the unit gained fame among tankers by destroying a Nazi Panther Mark-V tank with a first round hit at 8,500 yards.
D+7 - June 13, 1944: 957th Field Artillery Battalion landed on Utah Beach. During the duration of the war, the battalion fired 91,313 rounds, suffered 24 KIAs and 1 WIA. A select honor gun crew fired the units 50,000th round in Duren, Germany - the projectile was marked “To Adolph – 50,000”.
D-Day - June 6, 1944: For the 164th Infantry Regiment, it was "just another day in the jungle". By this date, the 164th Regiment had been in the South Pacific for 26 months and was engaged in combat actions for over 19 months. The 164th Regiment landed on Guadalcanal on Oct 13, 1942.

Governor - Adjutant General Podcast

Recently, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann was a guest on Gov. Doug Burgum's podcast, "Work Worth Doing." The state's leaders had a conversation about the contributions made by employees who work under the Office of the Adjutant General. Discussion included the multiple facets of the North Dakota National Guard's mission, including fighting America's wars, protecting the homeland and maintaining partnerships. They also visited about the work being done within the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, at both the Department of Homeland Security and State Radio. Click to Download podcast.

Cyber Readiness Pre-inspection

The North Dakota National Guard will receive a Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI) in August 2019. In preparation, the National Guard Bureau (NGB) provided a Site Assistance Visit (SAV) team May 20 – 24. The team focused on two goals, to provide a thorough evaluation of the CCRI checklist; and , to provide the NDNG with a “find-and-fix” opportunity to quickly correct noted deficiencies.

Based in Philadelphia, the SAV team is comprised of members of the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) who assess state National Guard units 90 days prior to their upcoming CCRIs.

While the SAV and CCRI focus heavily on Information Technology – cyber in particular – it also conducts assessment physical security, operational security and user training. Therefore, the assessment becomes an organization-wide event that touches many areas such as personnel, facilities management, intelligence, finance and operations. The SAV team also considers the culture and security climate of the entire organization, command emphasis and support, security capability and conduct of security operations.

The North Dakota National Guard earned scores of 72.38 for Secure Internet Protocol Router Network and 71.20 for the Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Network. The SAV team leader praised the scores pointing out that other states average scores in the 50s and 60s. He was confident that we will be ready for the August CCRI. Photo: Mr. Kiel Skager (left), of the North Dakota National Guard's Communications Directorate, meets with SAV team members on May 21 at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck.

Suicide Prevention Program Training

The North Dakota National Guard’s Suicide Prevention Program (R3SP) hosted a two-day, fifteen-hour interactive workshop in suicide first aid training at the Fargo Armed Force Reserve Center June 1-2. The instruction was LivingWorks’ Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and is intended for Guard members and families. ASIST teaches participants to recognize thoughts of suicide in people and then work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Sgt. 1st Class Grant Semchenko and Staff Sgt. Crystal Anderson served as instructors during this workshop attended by 14 participants, which is offered twice a year. Suicide prevention and the preservation of the force is everyone’s business and is a combat multiplier.

For more information or if interested in future workshops, please contact Jennifer at the North Dakota National Guard’s Suicide Prevention Office at 701-333-3265.

Sgt. 1st Class Kileigh Maki (left) and family member Anthony Stoner are roll playing during ASIST workshop. The ASIST role play exercise allows participants to practice identification of warning signs and asking direct questions about suicide and its prevention. This is an important step in an intervention; it allows for both parties to acknowledge what it happening and is the starting point of creating a safety plan.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Bob Axman (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Adam Walsvik conduct an exercise. Participants conduct role playing exercises which help them work through the Pathway for Assisting Life (PAL) model during a crisis intervention. The PAL model is essentially a map of an intervention and starts with exploring invitations (warning signs) and ends with a plan for safety. The PAL model is the core of ASIST training.

ASIST facilitator Sgt 1st. Class Grant Semchenko pretends he's threatening to jump off of a bridge while family member Amber Mattson tries to talk him into abandoning his plans as part of an exercise. During this particular role play, participants are invited to use the skills of ASIST and the PAL model to talk the person down from the bridge. This practical exercise is one of four the ASIST course uses to test participants knowledge of what they've learned during the workshop.

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