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TAG Line Oct. 2, 2020

Mr. Lee Dingman, Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT), briefs Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, and Command Sgt. Major Derek Heck, state command sergeant major, about his company's counter Unmanned Aerial System being tested at Camp Grafton Training Center, Near Devils Lake, N.D. on Sept. 23, 2020. CACI, AVT’s parent company was also present. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Testing at CGTC

During the summer months, Camp Grafton Training Center (CGTC) hosts a high number of Soldiers and training activities. The Adjutant General's strategic plan directs that innovative ways be developed to use the post's assets during those times when it has capability to accommodate other types of users. There are a number of ways of using this 'excess capacity'. Allowing other state agencies, like law enforcement, and non-Department of Defense agencies access to the property is one solution. Another is allowing private industry access to CGTC under strict terms outlined in a mutual agreement. Ascent Vision Technologies is one such company. (U.S. Army National Guard story by Lee Nordin) (U.S. Army National Guard photos by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland)

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Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) has used CGTC several times over the last few years. Based in Montana, AVT needs large area to test, refine, and demonstrate their counter UAS (unmanned aerial systems) systems. Camp Grafton South provides the land and airspace needed to accomplish their training goals. This is just one example of how CGTC is partnering with other agencies and industry to build relationships that strengthen our state and nation.

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, receives a briefing from Ascent Vision Technologies and CACI employees during counter UAS system testing at CGTC on Sept. 23, 2020.

Cyber Shield Exercise

Soldiers and Airmen of the N.D. National Guard, N.D. Information Technology and MDU Resources Group, partnered in a cyber response exercise called Cyber Shield on Sept. 23, 2020, at Camp Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D. This event was an Army-wide exercise virtual participation. (U.S. Army National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, listens to Staff Sgt. Ryan Greicar, Joint Force Headquarters, explain his duties in exercise Cyber Shield on Sept. 23, 2020.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Greicar works on a project during exercise Cyber Shield on Sept. 23.

Master Sgt. Matthew Hauger, 119th Wing, works on his computer during the exercise Cyber Shield on Sept. 23.

Sgt. Anthony Koistinen looks over operations during exercise Cyber Shield on Sept. 23.

Historic Weapons Inventory

An inventory seems less like work and more like fun when you imagine the stories that may be associated with the historic weapons secured in a vault at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office warehouse in Bismarck, N.D. The collection includes a number of Japanese Arisaka rifles and "knee mortars" captured by the 164th Infantry Regiment during three years in the South Pacific during WWII.

Staff Sgt. Kile Kistler reads a serial number as Spc. Samantha Crabbe verifies the information on the annual inventory listing on Sept. 28, 2020. The Soldiers assisted the N.D. National Guard historian this past month with inventory, sorting and cleaning items in storage. (U.S. Army National Guard photo and story by Shirley Olgeirson, N.D. National Guard Historian)

119th Wing Continues Voluntary Airmen Testing

Each Friday Airmen and civilian employees can elect to undergo COVID-19 testing at the 119th Medical Group clinic at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D. About 70 Airmen participated in the voluntary testing on Oct. 2, 2020. Over 250 N.D. National Guard Airmen and Soldiers continue to serve on COVID-19 duty. Tasks range from administering tests, transporting specimens to the state laboratory in Bismarck, as well as providing direct support to the laboratory. (U.S. Air National Guard story and photos by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, 119th Wing)

Tech. Sgt. Tiffany Jasmann, of the 119th Services Flight, left, writes tracking information as she helps process testing information of Tech. Sgt. Josh Hawkins, of the 119th Communications Flight, at the 119th Medical Group clinic at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Oct. 2, 2020.

Tech Sgt. Jeremy Levenhagen, of the 119th Medical Group, takes a nasal swab sample during voluntary COVID-19 testing from Tech. Sgt. Josh Hawkins, of the 119th Communications Flight at the 19th Medical Group clinic at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo.
Master Sgt. Tiffany Jasmann, of the 119th Services Flight, left, verifies data entries with Pfc. Harleigh Adolphson, 188th Engineer Company, at the 119th Medical Group clinic, N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo.

Honoring the Past While Looking to the Future

Representatives of multiple state agencies including the N.D. National Guard met near the N.D. Veterans Cemetery and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park south of Mandan, N.D. on Sept. 29, 2020. The group's purpose was to initiate and develop partnerships while taking the first steps in exploring site options for a future military museum. (U.S. Army National Guard photo and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland)

Representatives of multiple state agencies look over state-owned land near the N.D. Veterans Cemetery and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park south of Mandan, N.D. on Sept. 29.

40 Years of Service

Master Sgt. Jeff Barta of Minot N.D., retired on Sept. 20, 2020 from the N.D. Army National Guard with an incredible 40 years of military service to his credit. Barta began his military career in 1980, when he enlisted in the S.D. Army National Guard. His last assignment was with the Officer Candidate School (OCS), of the 164th Regiment Training Institute (164th RTI) located at Camp Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D. During his tenure with the 164th RTI, he served as a platoon trainer and instructor. Other significant assignments included first sergeant duties with the 3662nd Support Maintenance Company and 136th Combat Support Battalion and maintenance supervisor, Task Force Shield in Iraq with the 164th Engineer Battalion from 2007-2008. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Army Commendation Medal (three awards), Army Achievement Medal (six awards), Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the N.D. Legion of Merit. He is also authorized the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps' Order of Samuel Sharpe.

Barta's future plans include working with the Minot chapter of Team Red White and Blue and the N.D. Dakota Patriot Guard. His wife, Kathy, was also highly involved as a volunteer with the N.D. National Guard Enlisted Association Auxiliary, Family support functions and numerous unit functions in support of her husband's career. Barta’s daughter is currently serving with the Georgia National Guard as a Mental Health Officer. His son is employed at the Tioga Medical Center. (U.S. Army National Guard photo and story by Staff Sgt. Kerri Johnson)

Master Sgt. D.J. Rohrich and Maj. Nicolette Daschendorf, of the Officer Candidate School (OCS), 164th Regional Training Institute, present Master Sgt. Jeff Barta an OCS plaque during his retirement ceremony on Sept. 12, 2020 at Camp Grafton Training Center.

N.D. National Guard Retiree Advisory Board Meeting

Members of the N.D. National Guard (NDNG) Retiree Advisory Board (RAB) met at Fraine Barracks, Bismarck, N.D., on Sept. 25, 2020. The RAB, chaired by Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, is chartered by the NDNG and is staffed by volunteers state-wide. Its purpose is to advise, assist and provide counsel to the organization's senior leaders and serve as a mechanism for the adjutant general to communicate and exchange ideas with retirees and former members of the Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, left, listens to members of the Retiree Advisory Board during a meeting on Sept. 25, 2020.

ID Tag Comes Home

A U.S. Army identification tag (dog tag) belonging to a North Dakota Soldier finally came home. Spc. Ronald D. Hepper lost the tag when he was wounded by a grenade during the Vietnam War more than 50 years ago. The tag resurfaced in Russia and was returned to the Soldier's widow, Ruth Hepper by Gov. Doug Burgum during a ceremony on Sept. 30, 2020 at the N.D. State Capitol. Ronald Hepper passed away in 2007 at the age of 58. Click for more information. (Story and photo by Mark Staples, Office of the Governor)

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Gov. Doug Burgum presents Ronald Hepper’s military identification tag to his widow, Ruth Hepper on Sept. 30, 2020 at the N.D. State Capitol. Also pictured from left, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, Hepper’s daughter Julie Hornbacher and her husband, Jim, and right, Ronald Hepper’s brother Stanley Hepper and his wife, Kathleen.

U.S. Army basic training photo of Ronald Hepper. (Submitted)

Recognizing an Original Happy Hooligan on his 104th Birthday

Today, Oct. 2, 2020, we recognize an original Happy Hooligan on his 104th birthday. Retired Chief Master Sgt. Fred Quam was assigned to the N.D. Air Guard upon the unit’s inception, Jan. 16, 1947, and is the only surviving charter member. Prior to joining the N.D. Air National Guard, he served in the Army Air Corps. Quam retired on Oct. 15, 1976, after 33 years and 7 months of military service which included over 29 years as a Guardsman. He was instrumental in creating the upstairs library of historical books and magazines at the Fargo Air Museum, which is named in his honor. Happy Birthday Fred, and see ya next year for your 105th birthday. (U.S. Air National Guard story and photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, 119th Wing)

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Fred Quam shows off his birthday cake during a celebration of his 99th birthday on Oct. 2, 2015 at the Fargo Air Museum, Fargo, N.D.

This painting of Quam hangs in the library named after him at the Fargo Air Museum.

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Happy 101st Birthday WWII Veteran

Staff Sgt Louis J. Hanson, who served with Company E, 164th Infantry Regiment from 1941-1945, received a new ribbon bar in honor of his 101st birthday on Sept. 27, 2020. "The Japs met up with somebody new," quipped Hanson when recalling the Regiment's landing on Guadalcanal Oct. 13, 1942 while reinforcing the 1st Marine Division. He earned four "battle" stars for his service during the campaigns of Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons, Leyte and Southern Philippines. (U.S. National Guard story and photo by Shirley J. Olgeirson, N.D. National Guard historian)

Father - Daughter Dance

The N.D. National Guard Child and Youth program held its 5th annual Military Father - Daughter Ball at the Heritage Museum in Bismarck, N.D. on Sept. 26, 2020. Military daughters and their fathers always look forward to the event which provides an opportunity for uninterrupted quality time spent together. This years event was attended by 41 father-figures and 59 daughters. (U.S. Army National Guard photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Top left, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sean Hogan with daughter Austyn. Hogan traveled from Fort Riley, Kan. in order to attend the event. Top right, foreground, retired Sgt. Ryan Dreher with daughter Mya, and in the background, retired Sgt. 1st Class Steve Urlacher with daughter Brynlee. Bottom, Maj. Kris Elijah shares a dance with daughter Harper.

ESGR Freedom Award

ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) can help reserve component military members recognize their employer for exceptional support during the service member's military training and mobilizations.

The ESGR's Secretary of Defense Employer Freedom Award was established in 1996 and is the highest award administered in recognition of exceptional employer support, with 295 honorees to date. The nomination season runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. For more information and to learn how to nominate your employer, click www.freedomaward.mil.

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