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TAG Line April 16, 2021

Airmen of the 119th Wing maintenance squadron unpack an MQ-9 Reaper in a hangar at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., April 10, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Chief Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, 119th Wing)

Air Guard Security Forces Head Overseas

Nine Airmen were honored at a sendoff ceremony at the Minot Armed Forces Center on April 12, 2021. The Airmen, assigned to the 219th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) based at the Minot Air Force Base, Minot, N.D., left April 14 for six months of duty in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, talks with Airmen of the 219th Security Forces Squadron and their guests at the Minot Armed Forces Reserve Center, April 12, 2021. Nine Airmen were honored at a sendoff ceremony as they prepare to head overseas.
Maj. Greg Goodman, left, 219th Security Forces Squadron commander, stands with Airmen displaying the flags that will accompany them on their six-month deployment in support of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations, April 12, 2021.
Chief Master Sgt. Mike Anders, 219th Security Forces Squadron superintendent, presents a teddy bear as a token of appreciation to Families of deploying Airmen at a send-off event held in Minot, N.D., on April 12, 2021.

Hooligans Participate in Southern Strike Exercise

Approximately 70 Happy Hooligans of the 119th Wing traveled to the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 9, 2021 to participate in Southern Strike 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard story and photos by Chief Master Sgt. David Lipp, 119th Wing)

Southern Strike is a large-scale, joint and international combat exercise conducted annually and hosted by the Mississippi National Guard from April 15 thru April 29, 2021. The exercise is a robust display of counter-insurgency, close-air-support, non-combatant evacuation, and maritime special operations events based on current global scenarios.

Hooligans of the 119th Wing walk across the flight line as they prepare to board a C-17 Globemaster at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., en route to Exercise Southern Strike 2021 on April 9, 2021.

Airmen of 119th Wing board a C-17 Globemaster at the N.D. Air National Guard Base for Exercise Southern Strike 2021 on April 9, 2021.

119th Wing members are seated on-board a C-17 Globemaster waiting to depart the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., for Exercise Southern Strike 2021 on April 9, 2021.

119th Wing Airmen exit a C-17 Globemaster at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 10, 2021.

119th Wing members unload cargo from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster in front of the hangar at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 11, 2021, in support of the wing’s participation in Exercise Southern Strike 2021.

119th Wing members are greeted as they arrive at Exercise Southern Strike 2021 at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 10, 2021.
Happy Hooligans from the 119th Wing Maintenance Squadron work on an MQ-9 Reaper in a hangar at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 10, 2021.

119th Wing Maintenance Squadron members prepare GPS guidance kits that will be outfitted on inert munitions at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 11, 2021.

119th Wing Maintenance Squadron members load inert munitions onto an MQ-9 Reaper in the hangar at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 14, 2021.

119th Wing Maintenance Squadron members prepare inert munitions for an MQ-9 Reaper at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Miss., on April 11, 2021.

Purple Up!

In recognition of April, the Month of the Military Child, Gov. Doug Burgum joined Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, in honoring military Families and children in Memorial Hall, at the N.D. Capitol, Bismarck, N.D., April 15, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office).

April 15 is known as “Purple Up! Day”. This is a day for the community to wear purple and show their support for military children, whose strength and support of their parents' military service increases our military’s resiliency.

Gov. Doug Burgum's proclamation "April - Month of the Military Child".
Gov. Doug Burgum, center left, and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, center right, N.D. adjutant general, celebrate “Purple Up! Day,” with N.D. National Guard members and their families at the N.D. State Capitol, April 15, 2021.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, "high fives" a military child at the North Dakota State Capitol, April 15, 2021.
“Purple Up! Day” activities at the N.D. State Capitol, April 15, 2021. Top left: Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, "high fives" a military child. Top right: Gov. Doug Burgum poses with the family of Sgt. Jessica Peterson. Bottom: Burgum and Dohrmann, along with Mandy Malo, N.D. National Guard's child and youth program coordinator, holding the proclamation, pose for a photo with military youth from the N.D. Military Teen Council.

COVID-19 Support Continues

The North Dakota National Guard continues to support state and local health officials in the fight to contain the COVID-19 virus. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brett Miller, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)

Sgt. Tyler Weichel, 817th Engineer Company, collects patient information at the mobile vaccination event held at the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck, N.D., April 14, 2021.

N.D. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen supported Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health in administering drive-through COVID-19 vaccines at the Bismarck Event Center on April 14, 2021. Guard members provided traffic control, collected information, recorded vaccine cards and administered vaccine shots. They also assisted with observing participants for 15 minutes after vaccines were administered to ensure that there were no severe side-efforts.

Spc. Savon Flansburg, 816th Military Police Company, hands a COVID-19 vaccination card to a patient at the mobile vaccination event at the Bismarck Event Center in Bismarck, April 14, 2021.
Top left: Staff Sgt. Daniel Smith, left, 188th Engineer Company, and Spc. Beau Hickman, 816th Military Police Company, collect patient information at the Bismarck Event Center, Bismarck, N.D., on April 14, 2021. Top right: Sgt. Brian Moritz, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, prepares COVID-19 vaccination cards at the Bismarck Event Center on April 14, 2021. Bottom: Sgt. Brian Moritz, left, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Schafer, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, collect patient information and prepare COVID-19 vaccination cards at the Bismarck Event Center on April 14, 2021.

Camp Supports JROTC

Camp Grafton Training Center supported cadets and students from Devils Lake High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC), April 7 to 8, 2021. (U.S. National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rose Schwind, Camp Grafton Training Center)

About 55 JROTC cadets and 40 students from Devils Lake High School experienced the Vehicle Convoy Operator Trainer (VCOT). This trailer-mounted simulator has four stations with three positions each (driver, assistant driver and gunner for security) allowing up to 12 individuals to train simultaneously in military convoy operations. Each of the four stations represents a High Mobility Multi-purposed Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) in convoy. This trainer helps develops leadership and communication skills.

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Wes Widmer, right, watches from the assistant driver's seat as a JROTC cadet operates as simulated vehicle in the Vehicle Convoy Operator Trainer. Widmer is one of the two cadre members of the JROTC program at Devils Lake High School.

Gratitude for Those Participating in COVID-19 Response

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck, N.D. National Guard state command sergeant major, traveled to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on April 14, 2021 to meet with COVID-19 responders. They toured the vaccination site and were briefed on operations. Dohrmann recognized the extraordinary efforts of seven Soldiers and two civilians from the Grand Forks Public Health office. (National Guard story and photos by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Top photo: 1st Lt. Jennifer Lahren, left, and Ashley Krone, the Vaccine Management Lead with Grand Forks Public Health, far right, guide Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, center left, N.D. adjutant general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck, N.D. National Guard state command sergeant major, in a tour of the COVID-19 vaccination site at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, April 14, 2021. Bottom: Krone explains the different types of syringes used for administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, left, and Sgt. Arturo Delacruz, team lead for Region 4, sanitize their hands after Delacruz received a challenge coin for his leadership and commitment to duty in support of the N.D. National Guard's COVID-19 response mission at the Alerus Center, Grand Forks, April 14, 2021.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, right, presents a challenge coin to Spc. Dylan Schock in recognition of his professionalism and positive impact while participating in the N.D. National Guard's COVID-19 response efforts, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, April 14, 2021.

Spc. Barbara Omlid, left, renders a salute to Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann after receiving a challenge coin in recognition of her dedication and professionalism while participating in the N.D. National Guard's COVID-19 response efforts, Grand Forks, April 14, 2021.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, right, presents a challenge coin to Pfc. Yusuf Mustapha in recognition of his professionalism and efficiency while participating in the N.D. National Guard's COVID-19 response efforts, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, April 14, 2021.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, right, presents a challenge coin to Marcus Lee, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Grand Forks Public Health office, in recognition of his extraordinary efforts working alongside the N.D. National Guard during joint COVID-19 response missions, Grand Forks, April 14, 2021.
Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, right, presents a challenge coin to Deborah Swanson, Director, Grand Forks Public Health office in recognition of her and her team’s outstanding efforts while working alongside the N.D. National Guard during joint COVID-19 response missions, Grand Forks, April 14, 2021.

Slingload Training

Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, continues to train in between missions while on duty in support of the National Capital Region. The unit began their nine-month mission November 2020.

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, conducts night slingload training at Davison Army Airfield, Fort Belvoir, Va., April 13, 2021. (National Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Scott Dickmeyer, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment)

Keeping Contact with Our N.D. Families of the Fallen

The N.D. Survivor Outreach Services support coordinator, Sara Blazek, hosted a phone conference for N.D. Families of the Fallen on April 15, 2021. (National Guard story and photo by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Several Family members along with Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, participated in the call. The purpose of this communication is to help keep the Families informed of activities and events important to them. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were no in-person activities conducted in 2020.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, participates in a phone meeting at Fraine Barracks, Bismarck, N.D., April 15, 2021.

The upcoming Memorial Day ceremony at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery was discussed. Dohrmann was optimistic that this annual program, that was limited to livestream in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, will return to near-normal next month with COVID precautions in place. Discussions also included the “We Will Never Forget” remembrance weekend that is scheduled for July 2021.

Chaplain of the Year

Chaplain (Maj.) Dellas O. Herbel, 119th Wing, was recently awarded the 2021 Samuel Stone Award, recognizing him as the Outstanding Air National Guard (ANG) Chaplain of the Year for 2020. This award is named for Chaplain Samuel Stone, the first recorded chaplain to serve in the militia of colonial America. The annual winner is chosen based on the nominee’s ministry exemplifying the Chaplain Corps vision by going above and beyond expectations in providing spiritual care to Airmen and other service members in support of unit missions and training.

"Chaplains play a critical role in our war-fighting mission by tending to our Airmen and their spiritual well-being,” said Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander.
"We nominated Chaplain Herbel for the award because of the persistent inspirational work he’s done for our unit and its members,” said Brig. Gen. Darrin Anderson, N.D. National Guard assistant adjutant general for Air.

Herbel accepted a direct commission on Feb. 14, 2013 and is an ordained Eastern Orthodox priest, who ministers to the congregation at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Fargo, N.D. “My goal is to meet people and help them keep their heads in the game, in relation to both their mission and in life,” said Herbel. He was on a recent six-month deployment to southwest Asia serving with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing.

FEMA Public Information and Warning Class

North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) held a public information class in Bismarck on April 13 to 15, 2021. The course introduces students to the Public Information Officer (PIO) and the role they play during an emergency in support of Federal Emergency Management Agency operations. The 3-day course teaches participants to perform PIO functions with activities and exercises to build confidence. The next class is expected late summer or early fall. Check the NDDES website for more details. (National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Retired Master Sgt. Rob Keller, course instructor, holds an after action review with students during a public information class in Bismarck on April 15, 2021.

Lost and Found - National Guard WWII Soldiers

Recently the last Soldier of the N.D. National Guard's 164th Infantry Regiment from World War II that was still living in North Dakota, Doug Burtell, passed away on April 3, 2021. Almost immediately, the quest began to find others living elsewhere. Two “original” members of the 164th Infantry Regiment were located. Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Bell in California and Sgt. Vern Bogner in Oregon. Unfortunately the quest came just a few days late when we learned that Charles Bell, aged 98, passed away on April 13, 2021. (National Guard story by retired Lt. Col. Shirley J. Olgeirson, N.D. National Guard historian)

Sgt. Charles Bell, left, and Sgt. Vern Bogner. Courtesy photos.

Like many others of the time, Bell joined the National Guard to earn a few dollars and employ his musical skills serving with the 164th Infantry Band. Things changed quickly when the regiment went to war and his beloved band of musicians became a band of medics. If you check on Bell's wartime story post “Je Suis Pret in the 164th Infantry News - July 2014", you will marvel at his insight, descriptions, experiences, especially his recollections of Lt. Frank Welch, B Company Officer, who was killed in action.

Charles “Chuck” Bell displays a COVID-19 badge after receiving the vaccine, January 2021.

FOUND!

It was also a pleasent surprise to locate Sgt. Vernon Bogner who, after returning from the South Pacific, made his home in Oregon where his parents had moved there during the war. Bogner's date of birth in the official mobilization roster listed him as two years older then he actually was so he could join the National Guard for the cash and a new pair of boots.

Bogner was a field lineman supervisor in regimental headquarters and the regiment's 1st Battalion, insuring that telephone systems were operational. He earned a Bronze Star Medal in 1944.

As we honor the memories of those who have passed, we continue to treasure the few remaining Veterans who saved the world over seven decades ago. Gen. Douglas MacArthur made famous the words of a military ballad when he quoted the lyrics during one of his final speeches, “Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away".

As the magnificent “Always Ready” soldiers of World War II fade away, the legacy of North Dakota’s 164th Infantry Regiment should never die.

Keeping the Minot AFRC Top Notch

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, awarded coins to Steve Brunelle, Elliot Johnson and Joel Brenna at the Minot Armed Forces Reserve Center on April 12, 2021. The team was presented recognition coins for their assistance in hosting the North Central Veterans Stand Down. The event helped nearly 200 Veterans and 35 family members connect with service available through Veteran and government organizations. (National Guard story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. adjutant general, awarded coins to Steve Brunelle and Joel Brenna at the Minot Armed Forces Reserve Center on April 12, 2021.

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