Sgt. Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, completes his essay on what the non-commissioned officers creed means to him and why during the 2021 Region Six Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 4, 2021. (National Guard photos by Maj. Leslie Reed, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).
The Region VI BWC was comprised of nearly 20 events which tested a wide range of skills, from the Soldiers’ military appearance and knowledge to their physical strength and endurance. Soldiers proved themselves on weapon qualifications, long ruck marches, land navigation and obstacle courses. The participants were tested with limited rest and sleep. The culminating challenge was an “Omaha Beach” event, in which the Soldiers ran from the Pacific Ocean to a station where they grabbed two heavy ammunition canisters over the high sand dunes, then turned around and sprinted to the finish.
Sgt. Brandon Wendland, left, and Cpl. Andrew Doss of the North Dakota Army National Guard, use a litter to transport a simulated casualty to an Oregon Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter for medical evacuation during the 2021 Region VI Best Warrior Competition at Camp Rilea, near Warrenton, Oregon, May 7, 2021. Competitors performed first aid, transmitted a 9-line medical evacuation request and loaded the casualty into the helicopter. (National Guard photo by Maj. Leslie Reed, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
North Dakota Army National Guard Sgt. Brandon Wendland, left, and Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. John Mayer, take on the final event of the 2021 Region VI Best Warrior Competition, “Omaha Beach” at Camp Rilea, Warrenton, Oregon, May 7, 2021. (National Guard photos by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
Army National Guard Soldiers participating in the Region VI 2021 Best Warrior Competition celebrate completing their last event, “Omaha Beach,” along the Pacific Ocean at Camp Rilea, Warrenton, Oregon, May 7, 2021. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Austin Dragoo, a military working dog (MWD) handler in the 319th Security Forces Squadron, Grand Forks Air Force Base, works as a team with his dog during a mass odor detection training scenario at the North Dakota Air National Guard regional training site, May 13, 2021.
Staff Sgt. Brandi Schmidt, 116th Public Affairs Detachment and a registered yoga teacher, leads the participants of the 2021 Wellness Camp in a beginner yoga class at Camp Grafton Training Center, Devils Lake, N.D., May 1, 2021. (National Guard photo by Capt. Vanessa Lennick, N.D. Army National Guard State Medical Detachment)
During the ceremony, Wayne Stenehjem, N.D. Attorney General, announced that Holte was posthumously named as the 2020 North Dakota Peace Officer of the Year.
Trio Completes Air Assault Training
Three N.D. Army National Guard Soldiers completed Air Assault training at Camp Gruber Training Center, Oklahoma from April 27 to May 7, 2021. (National Guard story by Staff Sgt. Brandi Schmidt, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)
The Air Assault Course was conducted by the Army National Guard's Warrior Training Center's Mobile Training Team (MTT) out of Fort Benning, Georgia. Per their website, the Air Assault Course is 12 days in duration and prepares Soldiers for air mobile operations. During the course students train and are evaluated on combat assault, sling loads, rappelling, physical fitness, and various other critical skills. Students are required to complete an obstacle course and two-mile run on zero day before entering the course. Prior to graduation, students must successfully complete written and hands-on examinations, sling load tests, and a 12-mile foot march in under three hours with full combat load.
"Air Assault school was challenging but it was filled with a lot of fun and unique training," said Sgt. Benjamin Snyder, 818th Engineer Company. "The highlight of the course was rappelling from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at 90 feet AGL (above ground level)".
Sgt. Stephan Brooks, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (1-188th ADA), is scheduled to deploy to the National Capital Region with his unit this summer and Pfc. Jonathan Kranz, also with the 1-188th ADA, is pursuing Officer Candidate School. They look forward to bringing their knowledge and new skills back to help their units.
Civilian Employees Receive Recognition
After professional development classes, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, awarded three N.D. National Guard civilian employees command coins in recognition of their recent significant achievements at the Raymond J. Bohn Armory in Bismarck, May 12, 2021. Michelle Panos was honored for taking the lead and acting as the conduit between Fargo V.A. and the N.D. National Guard in providing safe areas to conduct COVID-19 vaccination clinics state-wide. Jennifer Scheet and Chris Martens were recognized for their roles in supporting the N.D. National Guard's efforts during the state's 67th Legislative Session.