TAG Line September 6, 2019

Top photo: Members of the North Dakota National Guard participate in the season's last 5k run at Sertoma Park in Bismarck. This monthly voluntary event promotes fitness and camaraderie among the force.

Rail Load Return

Thirty-eight Soldiers from the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB), 231st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment and the 426th Signal Company retrieved unit equipment used during the June exercise Saber Guardian 2019 in Romania. The Soldiers worked with BNSF railroad employees in Grand Forks to offload approximately 60 rail cars hauling more than 227 pieces of military equipment. The cargo and equipment was transported back to their units for inventory and technical inspection. Saber Guardian is an annual U.S. Army Europe-led, multinational exercise, that took place in numerous locations in Europe, and was co-hosted by the land force components in participating countries. This rail operation marks the conclusion of Saber Guardian for the 141st MEB and its subordinate units.

Sgt. Matthew Jenrich guides Sgt. 1st Class Chad Smith, operator of the Rugged Terrain Container Handler, as N.D. Guard Soldiers offloaded containers that supported their mobilization to Romania.

Master Exercise Practitioner Program

Larry Regorrah, training and exercise specialist for the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, participated in FEMA’s Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP) through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). It's taken him nearly a year to complete the instruction and earn a coveted proficiency rating. This program allows a collaborative learning environment which enables participants the opportunity to experience a wider knowledge of challenges and exercise development through group interaction. MEPP graduates use their skills to mentor other exercise practitioners while building resilience and advancing the N.D. Department of Emergency Services' collective ability to respond to and help communities recover from disasters.

Larry Regorrah leads a table-top emergency response exercise at the North Dakota capital on July 16.

According to FEMA, MEPP is a highly competitive and challenging program designed for mid-to-high level exercise practitioners with a minimum of 3-5 years of experience in emergency management exercise design.

State Partnership Program Update

The Ghana Engineer Training School (ETS) is one of the most enduring State Partnership Program relationships between the N.D. National Guard and the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

For the last seven years, the N.D. National Guard's 164th Regional Training Institute supported the ETS by providing Guard cadre to review, support and exchange good ideas about their training curriculum. Their engineer training includes horizontal (earthwork), vertical (electrical, carpentry and plumbing) and combat engineer tasks. Those GAF Soldiers and Airmen selected to branch engineer, will receive advanced training in those skills designed to support Ghana's U.N. peacekeeping operations. For the last five years, GAF engineers have supported peacekeeping efforts in Mali by maintaining their bases utilizing all aspects of the engineering skills learned at ETS.

Photo: (left to right) Maj. Amedek, ETS cadre, Majors Jarrod Simek and Beth Simek, N.D. Army National Guard and Capt. Konado, ETS cadre, at the entrance of the GAF Engineer Training School.

Maj. Jarrod Simek, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and Maj. Beth Simek, 68th Troop Command, are supporting a Disaster Preparedness Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) engagement with the Republic of Ghana's National Disaster Management Organization or NADMO. This is the country's equivalent of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

NADMO is managed by the GMinistry of Interior and is the lead coordinator for all disaster efforts within Ghana. The N.D. Guard has been conducting engagements with NADMO since 2005 by sharing best practices, and conducting training classes and exercises. The N.D. Department of Emergency Services has also been instrumental in supporting NADMO throughout the last 15 years, bringing over emergency managers, public health officers and trainers to teach Incident Command System principles, used by both FEMA and the United Nations as a preferred model for disaster management. The N.D. Guard also supported the outfitting of a $350,000 National Emergency Operations Center designed in part by Staff Sgt. Brad Turck, Maj. Shannon Horton, Lt. Col. (retired) Mike Holly and 1st Sgt. (retired) Steven Kilde.

Photo: N.D. National Guard's Staff Sgt. Brad Turck (right) talks with a NADMO employee during an U.S. Africa Command inspection of their national emergency operations center in 2015.

Annual Retiree Weekend Begins

The annual N.D. National Guard Retirees Weekend kicked off Friday afternoon at Guard's Camp Grafton Training Center near Devils Lake. Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general, and other senior leaders join the retirees and provide updates on N.D. National Guard activities. Besides meeting with current Guard leadership, this event allows retirees and their spouses to gather and learn about Veterans programs, social security benefits, health issues, other subjects of interest. They also use this as an opportunity to renew and reconnect on their life-long friendships created as a result of their Guard service. The retirees' weekend runs through Sunday, Sept. 8 and is expected to draw about 60 participants.

Col. Darrin Anderson, commander of the 119th Wing, briefs retirees on Friday afternoon.
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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office