N.D. Guard Responds to Wildfire Near Medora
Top photo: One of two N.D. Black Hawk helicopters that deployed in response to wildfires near the town of Medora, N.D., sits on tarmac at the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport, Dickinson, N.D. on April 1, 2021. The aircraft was refueling before assuming mission of aerial water delivery via the 600-gallon Bambi Bucket. Crew chiefs Staff Sgt. Andrew Iverson, right, and Sgt. Jared Reimer are preparing the bucket for the mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Josh Yri, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment)
On April 1, 2021, in response to ongoing drought conditions affecting most of the state, Gov. Doug Burgum placed the N.D. National Guard on standby for wildfire response. Shortly after this announcement, Billings County requested assistance with a wildfire threatening the town of Medora, N.D.
The N.D. National Guard responded, after coordination with the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, with two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, each with 600-gallon water buckets. The helicopters dropped eight bucket loads on the fire at the direction of the N.D. Forest Service on April 1, 2021.
The IMTS provides realistic operator training critical for dismounted crews supporting the Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) mission by allowing them to track and engage aerial targets.
Photo: Pfc. Matthew Tornow, left, and Staff Sgt. Garret Engelke, 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, search for targets in the Improved Move Target Simulator, during their training and evaluation, Grand Forks, N.D., March 27, 2021.
The Soldiers successfully completed their Table V gunnery tasks with the Enhanced Sentinel Radar, which enabled them to be certified for mobilization and deployment.
Photo: Spc. Joseph Stafki, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, trains on an AN/MPQ 64A3 Enhanced Sentinel Radar during the unit's evaluation at the Grand Forks Armory, Grand Forks, N.D., March 27, 2021.
“It was inspiring to see what is being done by women in our community, and to represent the Hooligans on that stage,” said Fink.
Photo: Tech. Sgt. Shelly Fink, right, a recruiter with the 119th Force Support Squadron, speaks among five individuals recognized as resilient women at the 9th Annual Leading Ladies Luncheon hosted by the N.D. Women’s Business Center, Fargo, N.D., March 30, 2021.
Cadet Hanna Sampel, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, prepares her overnight shelter with paracord during a field survival training exercise at Camp Grafton Training Center, March 26, 2021.
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Horst, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, builds his shelter in preparation for staying outside overnight during a field survival training exercise at Camp Grafton Training Center, March 26.
Robert “Skip” Stoffel, left, an instructor with Emergency Response International, explains the pros and cons of using a space blanket in a survival situation to Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, during their field survival training exercise at Camp Grafton, March 26, 2021. While beneficial in some medical situations, the blanket is not very useful in survival situations.
Dennis Biesecker and Dale Kraft handle the Intrusion Detection System or IDT, that electronically monitors all of the sensitive item storage vaults located around the state. When an alarm is sounded, one of these two men respond. They also train new users, troubleshoot equipment and upgrade components when needed. Guard members across North Dakota rely on their unmatched expertise when an IDT alarm goes off.
Biesecker retired on March 31, 2021 after 24 years of service. During his time, he has worked for four adjutants general and seven directors of facilities and engineering.
Recognizing Vietnam Veterans
North Dakota celebrated the contributions of the Veterans of the Vietnam War during a brief ceremony at Memorial Hall, located in the N.D. capitol building, on March 29, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Brett Nelson, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)
Gov. Doug Burgum officially proclaimed March 29, 2021 as Vietnam Veterans Day in North Dakota. Also honored were members of the Gold Star family of Army Cpl. Dennis James Manson, of Belcourt, N.D., who was killed in Vietnam. The event was hosted by N.D. State Sen. Richard Marcellias and Mr. Jim Nelson, Commander, AMVETs. Burgum and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, were featured guests.
With the promise of spending their summers on the Missouri River, the three friends joined the 957th Engineer Company (Multi-Role Bridge) as Bridge Crew Members (Military Occupational Specialty 12C). All three Soldiers were deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2004.
Photo: From left, Spc. Ashley Jahner, 2nd Lt. Erin Demoe, and Capt. Vanessa Lennick at Demoe's commissioning ceremony, Bismarck, N.D., March 22, 2021. (Courtesy photo)
Vic and Everett fought together during harrowing battles on Sniper’s Ridge, Oct. 25 to 27, 1951, in the vicinity of Heartbreak Ridge and Bloody Ridge. Leaving a relatively safe post assigned by his platoon sergeant, Vic volunteered to help a medic who needed someone to “man the other end of a stretcher”. Over a period of 48 hours, the two carried an estimated 40 to 60 wounded Soldiers off the ridge to the battalion medical aide station, while loading the stretcher with supplies and ammunition for return trip. One of the last men carried down, beyond the help of medical care, was Vic’s platoon sergeant.