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TAG Line June 18, 2021

Top photo. Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company, Spc. Jacob Goulet, right, and Spc. William Pope, screed concrete on a pad that will house restrooms at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

Army Guard Engineer Civil Assistance Project

Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company are assisting the Wishek community while simultaneously improving their engineer skills during their 2021 annual training (AT) period. (National Guard story and photos by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

The engineers are working at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D. The fairgrounds project includes improving the incoming road from State Highway 13, grading and leveling the parking area, improving handicap access, and renovating and building restrooms. These types of projects provide excellent training for Army National Guard engineer construction units while simultaneously benefiting our communities. The 815th Engineer Company is comprised of two horizontal (earth moving equipment) platoons and one platoon with vertical construction (carpenters, plumbers, masons and electricians) capabilities.

A 4-1/2 cubic yard Caterpillar 966H bucket loader fills a 10-ton dump truck at the 815th Engineer Company's borrow pit while a D-7 Caterpillar bulldozer pushes more soil toward the loader, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021. The engineers are using 20-ton and 10-ton dump trucks to haul fill material about seven miles to the work site.

Two 10-ton dump trucks enter the project work area with fill material for the road and the parking area, Tri County Fair, Wishek, June 15, 2021.
A 20-ton dump truck brings fill material to the parking area, at the Tri County Fair, Wishek, June 15, 2021.

The 815th Engineer Company has two John Deere M120 graders equipped with ERACC (enhanced rapid airfield construction capability) systems, which use GPS (global positioning system) coordinates and capability. This system guides the operator in obtaining the required project specifications.

A John Deere M120 grader equipped with the yellow GPS ERAC (enhanced rapid airfield construction capability) works on the parking area at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

A John Deere grader works the incoming road at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, June 15, 2021.

A 10-ton dump truck delivers a load of fill material on the incoming road at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

A Sheepsfoot operator compacts the soil of the parking area at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

A Caterpillar D7 bulldozer spreads fill material on the incoming road at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

One of two 1500 gallon water distributors assigned to the 815th Engineer Company sprays water to assist with soil compaction of the parking area at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021. The distributors spread about 40,000 gallons a day.

A Caterpillar 621G scraper shapes the parking area at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company's vertical platoon poured a concrete pad for the restrooms they will build for speedway patrons to use when they are inside the main gates. This portion of the project exercises carpentry, mason, plumbing and electrical skills.

Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company's vertical platoon pour a concrete pad for future restrooms, Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

"Engineers love to work with concrete," said Sgt. 1st Class Matt Hebl, readiness non-commissioned officer for the 815th Engineer Company. "It's great to see all of these Soldiers working hard together to ensure we have a successful pour."

Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company's vertical platoon pour a concrete pad for future restrooms, Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

Chaplain (Col.) David Johnson, left, N.D. National Guard state chaplain, visits with Spc. Prince Davies, 815th Engineer Company, at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

Spc. Jordan Johnson, 815th Engineer Company, uses a piece of lumber as a screed board on the concrete pad for future restrooms at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021. Screeding is an essential part of concrete finishing.

Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company's vertical platoon apply finishing touches on a concrete pad for future restrooms at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

Soldiers of the 815th Engineer Company's vertical platoon pour a concrete pad for future restrooms, Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

Spc. Jacob Goulet, white helmet, and Spc. William Pope, both of the 815th Engineer Company, screed concrete at the Tri County Fairgrounds and Speedway, Wishek, N.D., June 15, 2021.

The authority for the project is under the National Guard's Civil Assistance Project (CAP) and was requested by Tri Country Fair Board. The 815th Engineer Company, based in Lisbon, Wishek and Edgeley, is tackling the project in two phases. About 60 Soldiers worked on the project from June 4 to June 17, 2021. For the second phase, June 18 to July 2, 2021, about 50 Soldiers replaced the first shift on the project.

Concrete Pad Pour

N.D. Army Aviators Flyover Nationals Baseball Game

Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, along with the 12th Aviation Battalion, participated in a flyover of Nationals Park stadium, home of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021. (National Guard story by Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Kilber, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment)

The N.D. Army Aviators provided one of four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters whose flyover was timed to correspond with the conclusion of the national anthem performed by the U.S. Army's Band before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The flyover was in celebration of the Army’s 246th birthday.

An aerial engagement of this magnitude over an area with restricted air space requires many hours of planning and rehearsal. Duties and responsibilities were assigned by the air mission commander, Capt, Richard Schuessler, Company A, 12th Aviation Battalion.

Four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters perform a flyover of Nationals Park stadium at the conclusion of the national anthem before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021. The trail aircraft is assigned to the N.D. National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment.

An initial route was planned and later validated by a single aircraft which verified obstacles and altitudes. The helicopters flew in a diamond formation, which is not normally used by U.S. Army aircraft. This unusual arrangement meant extra attention was paid to the mission in order to ensure the hazards and best practices of flying in this formation were recognized.

A practice flight of approximately two hours was accomplished after thorough planning and a detailed aircrew brief. The brief discussed every detail of flight including airspeeds, altitudes, formation types and distances between aircraft.

The practice flight validated the plan and provided confidence to the aircrew that risk was as mitigated as possible. Finally, a ROC (rehearsal of concept) was completed 3 days prior to the mission. This drill ensured all the aircrew, mission briefer and the final approval authority clearly understood all coordination, times, altitudes, obstacles, contingencies and sequence of events down to the smallest detail. The mission was executed exactly as planned.

Four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters perform a flyover of Nationals Park stadium at the conclusion of the national anthem before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021. N.D. National Guard aviators from the 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment operated the trail aircraft.

The N.D. National Guard crew operated the trail aircraft in the formation and consisted of pilots Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Kilber and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dana Clifford; and crewchiefs Sgt. Zach Vollan and SGT Logan Maier. The trail position gave the N.D. Guard aviators the best vantage point of the formation allowing them to provide timely inflight correction instructions to adjust the other three aircraft's spacing, speed, etc. during the flyover mission.

Flyover video by 1st Sgt. Mitch McCoy, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment.

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Highly Successful State Partnership Program Mission

During the recent State Partnership Program (SPP) trip to Ghana, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general and Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, senior enlisted leader for the N.D. National Guard, teamed with members of the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana, June 6 to June 12, 2021. (National Guard story by Lt. Col. Mark McEvers, N.D. National Guard, State Partnership Program director)

The U.S. team planned future whole-of-government approach to support the integrated country strategy of our partner nations. This engagement focused on the "3-Ds" of security cooperation, defense, diplomacy and development. According to Lt. Col. Mark McEvers, "this was one of the most productive senior leader trips ever."

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, center left, and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, center, right, in a group photo from Accra, Ghana, June 9, 2021. From left, Maj. Beth Simek; Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, senior enlisted leader for the N.D. National Guard; Sullivan; Dohrmann; Maj. Jarrod Simek; and Lt. Col. Mark McEvers, N.D. National Guard, State Partnership Program director) (Photo: U.S. Embassy to Ghana, Public Affairs)

Lakota Helicopter Bucket Training

Recently, Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation (Security & Support) received the needed repair parts for the water buckets used by UH-72A Lakota helicopters in fighting wildland fires. (National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

On June 8 the Lakota helicopter air crews trained on filling and distributing water with these buckets south of Bismarck, N.D. Qualifying these crews in water bucket operations increases the N.D. Army National Guard's ability to respond to wildland fires by adding these aircraft to the existing water delivery capability of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The Lakota buckets can hold a maximum of approximately 144 gallons while the Black Hawk helicopter, with superior lifting capability, can employ buckets with a 660 gallon capacity.

The crew of a UH-72A Lakota helicopter of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation (Security & Support), train on filling a 144 gallon water bucket south of Bismarck, N.D., June 8, 2011.

The crew of a UH-72A Lakota helicopter of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation (Security & Support), train on filling a 144 gallon water bucket south of Bismarck, N.D., June 8, 2011.
A UH-72A Lakota helicopter of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation (Security & Support), heads to an area to deliver the water from its 144 gallon water bucket, south of Bismarck, N.D., June 8, 2011.
A UH-72A Lakota helicopter of the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation (Security & Support), practices delivering water from its 144 gallon water bucket, south of Bismarck, N.D., June 8, 2011.

Magstadt Honored for Four Decades of Service

Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Magstadt was recently honored for 40 years of military service at the Raymond J. Bohn armory theater, June 6, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Spc. Kristin Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Magstadt began his military career when he enlisted in 1981 as a radio operator with the Bismarck-based 164th Engineer Group, and culminated his service as the operations sergeant major for the 68th Troop Command. During his career spent entirely with the N.D. Army National Guard, he deployed to operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm with the 818th Medical Battalion 1990 to 1991. He also served in Kuwait with the N.D. Guard's 231st Logistical Support Element in support of Joint Special Operations Command, 2014 to 2015.

During his retirement ceremony, Col. Brock Larson, commander of the 68th Troop Command, presented Magstadt the North Dakota Legion of Merit Medal in recognition of his outstanding military career. Also, Command Sgt. Maj. John Zacher and Command Sgt. Maj. Jake Hahne presented him with the senior non-commissioned officer saber inscribed with the names of the currently serving sergeants major in the N.D. Army National Guard.

Top photos: Col. Brock Larson, right, commander of the 68th Troop Command, presented the North Dakota Legion of Merit Medal to Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Magstadt at his retirement ceremony, Bismarck, June 6, 2021. Bottom: Command Sgt. Maj. John Zacher, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jake Hahne, right, present Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Magstadt a saber with the names of the currently serving sergeants major in the N.D. Army National Guard, Bismarck, June 6, 2021.

Magstadt will officially retire from the N.D. Army National Guard and his fulltime National Guard job as a contracting officer with the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office on June 30, 2021.

Final Call

Jill Monroe received her traditional "final call" as a 9-1-1 emergency dispatcher from North Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Bennet Bitz, Bismarck, June 14, 2021. The purpose of this call was to formally thank her for nearly four decades of public service. (National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Jill retired from dispatcher duties after 38 years of duty, 30 of which as a member of the N.D. Department of Emergency Services' Division of State Radio. State Radio provides 9-1-1 emergency telephone services to twenty-five counties. The counties include Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burke, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Emmons, Foster, Golden Valley, Grant, Griggs, Hettinger, Kidder, Lamoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, Morton, Ransom, Sargent, Sheridan, Slope, and Wells counties.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, prepares to recognize Jill Monroe with a coin in honor of her nearly four decades of service to the communities of North Dakota. Monroe, a dispatcher with the N.D. Division of State Radio was honored at a retirement ceremony, Bismarck, N.D., June 14, 2021.

Monroe's supervisor Shanna Johnson said, "The knowledge we lose when Jill retires is irreplaceable. Not only her knowledge of dispatch procedures but her stories and the history of N.D. State Radio. She will be truly missed."

14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk

Eighty-seven Guard members, family and friends of the N.D. National Guard participated in the annual 14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Kristi M. Hogness, Camp Grafton Training Center operations)

Participants of the 14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk at the starting line, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021.

Some ran, some walked the 14 kilometers, but all remembered the 14 fallen N.D. National Guard Soldiers commemorated by this annual event. At each kilometer mark and at the finish line, a Soldier silhouette is decorated with a photo of a Fallen N.D. National Guard Soldier.

The first run was organized by Maj. Dan Buer in 2009 as a 12k. Since 2010, this annual event has been organized by Sgt. 1st Class Dawn VanSteenvoort and Ms. Debi Ohma. In 2013, the length of the course was changed to 14 kilometers in honor of two additional N.D. National Guard KIAs December 2012.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Kasper carries the guidon of his former unit, Company B, 141st Engineer Battalion, during the annual 14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021. This deactivated unit was based in Jamestown, N.D. and transitioned to the 817th Engineer Company.

The participants started near the Burdick Arena, and finished at Edwards House.

A remembrance photo of a fallen N.D. National Guard Soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde, is located at the 13th kilometer of the 14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021. Linde was killed in action in Afghanistan, Dec. 3, 2012 while on duty with the 818th Engineer Company.
Left: Staff Sgt. Ashley King walks with her dog and friend during the annual 14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021. Right: Sgt. 1st Class Corey Donaldson participates in the annual 14k Fallen Soldier Run/Walk, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021.
Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Duben and his daughter Emma, participate in the annual 14k Fallen Soldier Run, Camp Grafton Training Center, June 5, 2021.

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