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TAG Line April 23, 2021

Soldiers from the 191st Military Police Company prepare to move out from their training site near Lake Coe at Camp Grafton South, April 17, 2021. (National Guard photo by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

Collective Training at Camp Grafton

The 131st Military Police Battalion (MP) and its three subordinate units, the 191st Military Police Company, 816th Military Police Company and 3662nd Support Maintenance Company (SMC), conducted collective training at Camp Grafton Training Center and Camp Grafton South, near Devil’s Lake, N.D., during their Inactive Duty Training (IDT) April 15 - 18, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

The units participated in situation training exercises (STX), simulator training, a command post exercise (CPX), a rehearsal of concept drill (ROC), as well as planning for their upcoming annual training in May at Camp Ripley, Minn. Collective training builds unit cohesion, camaraderie and mission accomplishment. It begins with individual Soldier training, then collective tasks at the platoon and company level, which in turn helps ensure the battalion can effectively perform its missions. The 131st MP Battalion plans to assemble the entire battalion during this year's annual training in preparation for 2022, which will be conducted with the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

The 131st Military Police Battalion conducts a command post exercise at Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021.

Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Zabka and Capt. Nathan Johnson of the 131st Military Police Battalion study a map during the unit’s command post exercise at Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021.
Top: The 3662nd Support Maintenance Company, Ground Support Section, poses for a photo with their vehicles and equipment pre-positioned for convoy operations next month, at Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021. Bottom left: Sgt. Jaden Klotz, 816th Military Police Company, prepares lunch, April 17, 2021. Bottom right: Sgt. Justin Stenerson, 3662nd Support Maintenance Company, calibrates a night vision device, April 17, 2021.
A convoy of 816th Military Police Company vehicles wait to pass through security en route to their detainee collection point during a training exercise, April 17, 2021.

Soldiers of the 816th Military Police Company wait at a detainee collection point encircled with concertina wire during a training exercise at Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021.

Staff Sgt. Lucas Greff, 816th Military Police Company, briefs his Soldiers during detainee operation training, April 17.

Tough, effective hands-on training ensures that Soldiers feel comfortable and confident in their equipment and abilities.

“Our Soldiers and leaders at all levels are professionals and are always ready to rise to the occasion and meet the needs of our state and nation,” says, Maj. Jay Sheldon, 131st Military Police Battalion, executive officer.

Soldiers of the 191st MP Company disassemble an OE-254/GRC antenna near Lake Coe at Camp Grafton South, April 17.

Spc. Konner Elliott, left, and Spc. Brian Goulet of the 191st Military Police (MP) Company, drag concertina wire back to the unit’s trailer as they complete their detainee operation training exercise near Lake Coe at Camp Grafton South, April 17, 2021.

Soldiers of the 191st MP Company walk up a hill to disassemble an OE-254/GRC antenna during their training exercise near Lake Coe at Camp Grafton South, April 17, 2021.

The 131st Military Police Battalion's rehearsal of concept (ROC) drill was the culmination of their weekend training. The battalion staff, subordinate unit commanders, and range officers in charge, briefed the battalion's command team, Lt. Col. Nathan Dicks and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Wesson, on the four-phase operation that will be conducted at this year’s annual training in May. The ROC drill helps ensure that leaders at every level are fully prepared to execute their missions so the battalion's efforts are synchronized and meet the commander’s intent.

Leaders from the 131st Military Police Battalion conduct a rehearsal of concept drill at Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021.
Left: Capt. John Mazur, commander, 191st Military Police (MP) Company, briefs during the rehearsal of concept drill, Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17. Right: Maj. Kristopher Elijah, S-3 operations officer, 131st MP Battalion, explains planned convoy routes for the unit's upcoming annual training, April 17.

Unit Evaluated for Upcoming Mobilization

Soldiers from 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) conducted an unit external evaluation (EXEVAL) for the Devils Lake-based 835th Engineer Utilities Detachment. The engineer Soldiers are preparing to mobilize to the U.S. Central Command (CENTOM) area of operations later this year. The EXEVAL team evaluated the unit on tasks expected to be performed during their deployment.

A Soldier with the 835th Engineer Utilities Detachment hones his grader skills at the equipment operators training area, Camp Grafton Training Center near Devils Lake, N.D., April 17, 2021. (National Guard photos by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Walstad, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade)

141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Soldiers prepared for the Army Combat Fitness Test test event by rehearsing events during Inactive Duty Training, at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center, Fargo, N.D., April 17, 2021.

Soldiers practice dragging a 90 pound sled, one of the events of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center on April 17, 2021. (National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Walstad, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade)

In preparation of future training, Lt. Col. Kevin Miller, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, provides feedback and guidance for subordinate command teams at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center, Fargo, N.D., April 18, 2021. (National Guard photos by Maj. Lucas Klettke, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade)

Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Kachena, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, provides Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) 3.0 updates to subordinate command teams at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center, April 18, 2021.

Officer Honored with Military Police Regimental Award

Maj. Kristopher Elijah, S-3 operations officer for the 131st Military Police Battalion, was presented the Military Police Regimental Association's Order of the Marechaussee in Bronze by Lt. Col. Nathan Dicks, commander, 131st MP Battalion, at the Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021. (National Guard story and photos by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office.)

According to the Military Police Regimental Association's website, "the award recognizes a degree of professionalism, high standards of integrity and morality, and esprit de corps consistent with the long standing history and traditions of the Regiment."

“I love being an MP,” said Elijah. “Being an MP, it’s like coming home.”

Lt. Col. Nathan Dicks, left, congratulates Maj. Kristopher Elijah after presenting him the Order of the Marechaussee in Bronze, April 17, 2021.

Maj. Kristopher Elijah, left, S-3 operations officer, 131st Military Police Battalion, was presented the Order of the Marechaussee by Lt. Col. Nathan Dicks, commander, 131st Military Police Battalion, Camp Grafton Training Center, April 17, 2021.

The Military Police Regimental Association's Order of the Marechaussee in Bronze.

State Partnership Program

Lt. Col, Mark McEvers, director, N.D. National Guard's State Partnership Program (SPP), participated in a disaster preparedness engagement in Accura, Ghana, April 14 - 16, 2021. (National Guard story by Lt. Col. Mark McEvers and photos by Ghana's National Disaster Management Organization Public Affairs)

The intent of the visit was to to reengage with Ghanaian first responders and offer support in disaster preparation and scenario design for an earthquake response exercise planned by Ghana's National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in 2022. Many SPP engagements were postponed last year due to the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2006, the N.D. National Guard has supported disaster risk-reduction activities in support of the their West African partner. U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan, Kevin Brown, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other members of the U.S. Embassy in Accura also participated in the engagement with Ghanaian officials.

Above: U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan, meets with Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, right, Director General of Ghana's National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), about the support of disaster preparedness efforts and a proposed all-hazards humanitarian assistance project supported by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the N.D. National Guard in Accura, Ghana on April 16, 2021. From left, Major Jarrod Simek, N.D. National Guard's bilateral affairs officer stationed in Accura, and Lt. Col. Mark McEvers, director, N.D. National Guard's State Partnership Program.

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan, center left, accepts a partnership plaque from Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, Director General of Ghana's National Disaster management Organization, Accra, Ghana on April 16, 2021. From left, Mr. Kevin Brown Kevin Brown, U.S. Agency for International Development; Maj. Mike Kummerer, Office of Security Coordination, U.S. Embassy; Lt. Col. Mark McEvers, N.D. National Guard, U.S. Ambassador Sullivan; Director General Prempeh; Maj. Jarrod Simek, N.D. National Guard's bilateral affairs officer; Madam Charlotte Nana Norman, Director, Climate Change Adaptation, Ghana; and Mr. Nana Asafo-Adjei , Director-International Relations and Protocol, Ghana.

North Dakota National Guard 5K

N.D. National Guard members and civilian employees participated in the N.D. National Guard 's Friday 5K, a monthly "fun run" organized to motivate individuals and build camaraderie at Sertoma Park, Bismarck, April 16, 2021. The participants ran, jogged, or walked around the park. The next 5K is scheduled for May 21, 2021. (National Guard photos by Officer Candidate Michaela C.P. Granger, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office.)

Participants of the N.D. National Guard 's 5K begin the course around Sertoma Park, Bismarck, April 16, 2021.

Maj. Nicolette Daschendorf, center, an organizer for the event, explains the route for the 5K.

70 Years Since Korea

In January 1951, the N.D. National Guard's 164th Infantry Regiment and the 188th Field Artillery Battalion were ordered to active military service with the Minnesota National Guard's 47th “Viking” Division in support of the U.S. role in the Korean War. After traveling to their duty station at Camp Rucker, Alabama, they assumed their mission of training Soldiers in infantry and artillery skills. Several N.D. National Guard Soldiers were ordered to serve overseas as replacements, based on the needs of the units fighting in Korea.

War Stories - The LaBerge Brothers

Dick LaBerge, Company C, 164th Infantry Regiment, Grafton, N.D., attended infantry training and was one of the first N.D. National Guard Soldiers selected to deploy to Korea in 1951.

He served in same active duty Army regiment (19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division) as Master Sgt. Woodrow Keeble, future Medal of Honor recipient. LaBerge retired as a major in 1971.

LaBerge’s brother, Tom, also from Company C, 164th Infantry Regiment, was 19 when he arrived in Korea to what he described as a turf tug-of-war.

During a night battle, Tom was wounded in the leg and back. He and another wounded Soldier were left behind “in no man’s land” when the unit withdrew under cover of darkness. The two Soldiers survived for two weeks with no food, little water, and an encounter with a Chinese soldier who thought they looked so pitiful he left them for dead. LaBerge lost 50 pounds before he was rescued by U.S. troops returning to the area.

The LaBerge’s sister, Suzanne, married Eugene Burns, former full-time employee at the Grafton armory, Grafton, N.D. Burns, boarded a ship bound for duty in Korea, but instead ended up as a squad leader-trainer in Okinawa. He retired from the Guard in 1986 as a chief warrant officer 4.

Eugene Burns, right, trains a Soldier on an M20 Rocket Launcher in Okinawa, circa 1951.

Leader of the Band Promoted

James Landman, commander of the N.D. National Guard's 188th Army Band, was promoted to chief warrant officer 3 in Fargo, N.D., April 18, 2021. Landman joined the N.D. Army National Guard as a trumpet player in February 2008, and became a warrant officer in 2014. In his civilian job he's the director of the West Fargo Sheyenne High School band program.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kiel Skager, N.D. Army National Guard Command Chief, promotes James Landman, commander of the 188th Army Band, to chief warrant officer 3 in Fargo on April 18, 2021.

Retirement

Master Sgt. Kevin Hopfauf, Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ), was honored at a retirement ceremony in Bismarck, N.D., April 20, 2021. Hopfauf was recognized for over 40 years of exceptionally meritorious service to the N.D. National Guard. He served as a transportation management specialist with JFHQ.

Col. Paul Harron, United States Property and Fiscal Office, left, presents Master Sgt. Kevin Hopfauf, Joint Force Headquarters, the N.D. National Guard State Meritorious Service Medal during his retirement ceremony in Bismarck on April 20, 2021.

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