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TAG Line October 4, 2019

Pearl Harbor KIA Laid to Rest At Home in North Dakota

Radioman 2nd Class Floyd A. Wells, a World War II-era Sailor originally from Cavalier, N.D., was interred at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Oct. 1. Wells was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Navy fleet docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. His remains were recently identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Twenty of Wells' relatives were present to witness the ceremony. Top photo: U.S. Navy funeral honors remove the U.S. Flag from Wells' casket during his interment ceremony.

The U.S. Navy provided funeral honors during the interment services and handled the dignified transfer at Hector International Airport in Fargo on Sept. 30. N.D. National Guard Funeral Honors provided a detail to render a rifle volley salute during services. For more information, please read Sept. 24 news release USS Arizona Sailor Accounted For From World War II.

Mrs. Darlene Erichsen, Radioman 2nd Class Floyd A. Wells' closest relative, clutches the U.S. Flag that draped Wells' casket presented by U.S. Navy Capt. Jim Mehail, right, during the interment ceremony at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery. Darlene and her husband Darrell Erichsen, left, traveled from Arlington, Wash. for the ceremony. More photos at Floyd Wells Interment.

The remains of Radioman 2nd Class Floyd A. Wells arrive at Hector International Airport in Fargo on Sept. 30. Wells was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Navy fleet docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He was buried at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Oct. 1.

N.D. National Guard Funeral Honors fires rifle volley salute in honor of Radioman 2nd Class Floyd A. Wells during his interment.

N.D. National Guard’s Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jon Wymer renders prayers and remarks during Wells’ interment.

Cultural Day with BSC

On Sept. 25, the N.D. National Guard partnered with Bismarck State College (BSC) to host an international Culture Fest. This second annual event held at the BSC student union, is a celebration of diversity and featured booths demonstrating the culture of different countries.

Top left: Spc. McKenzie Nagel, left, of the N.D. Army Recruiting Battalion collects a passport from Kayla Skelton. Participants visiting all of the booths at the Bismarck State College (BSC) Cultural Fest on Sept. 25 could get their souvenir passports stamped at each exhibit. Top left: Col. John Gibbs, uniform, samples a Chinese eggroll at the Culture Fest. Bottom: Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Greenstein, right, provides visitors information about the countries of Benin, Ghana and Togo. These nations are aligned with the N.D. National Guard under the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program.

Chief’s Council Hosts Retiree Breakfast

The 119th Wing Chief’s Council hosted their annual retiree breakfast for 144 retired unit members at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo on Oct 2. The senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) use the event to honor retired unit members and stay connected with them and the local community. Col. Darrin Anderson, 119th Wing commander, provided a presentation on the state of the unit and its role in national defense.

Col Darrin Anderson, 119th Wing commander, provides an organizational update presentation to retired unit members at the annual 119th Wing Chief’s Council retiree breakfast at the N.D. Air National Guard Base on Oct. 2.

Retired Maj. Gen. Alexander Macdonald, former adjutant general and Wing commander, speaks to an audience of retired unit members at the annual 119th Wing Chief’s Council retiree breakfast at the N.D. Air National Guard Base on Oct. 2.

Chief Master Sgt. Val Buchholz, of the 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron, presents a birthday card to retired Chief Master Sgt. Fred Quam in honor of his 103rd birthday during the annual 119th Wing Chief’s Council retiree breakfast at the N.D. Air National Guard Base on Oct. 2.

Senior Master Sgt. Erica Carruth, 119th Force Support Squadron, delivers breakfast dishes to retired unit members at the annual 119th Wing Chief’s Council retiree breakfast.

Recruiting-Retention Achievements Mark Fiscal Year 2019

Our N.D. Air National Guard recruiting and retention team had a very successful Fiscal Year 2019. From a record year accessing 135 new members to our Hooligan Family to closing 2019 at 95.4% end strength. This equates to a 4% increase over the previous year which led to a 92% Airmen retention rate. We congratulate our team members that achieved Century Award status this year. With 100 career enlistments are Tech Sgt. Shelly Fink and Neil Nelson, and Master Sgt. Tina Sly who reached a whopping 300 career enlistments!

The N.D. Air National Guard's recruiting team. Left to Right: Tech Sgt. Matthew Fraase, Tech Sgt. Sara Clow, Master Sgt. Greg Peterson, Master Sgt. Tina Sly, Tech Sgt. Erik Rustvang, Tech Sgt. Adam Dewey, Master Sgt. Tyrel Cale, Tech Sgt. Shelly Fink, Tech Sgt. Neil Nelson, Senior Master Sgt. MJ Filloon, non-commissioned officer in charge, and Tech Sgt. Keith Hess.

The N.D. Army National Guard recruiting and retention team also enjoyed a successful Fiscal Year 2019. Collectively their achievements enabled the N.D. Army Guard end strength to grow by 63 to 2,956, the highest growth since Fiscal Year 2011. Twenty-five of our recruiting and retention non-commissioned officers (92% of the team) met or exceeded assigned missions. For the first time in nearly a decade two teams met their assigned mission of recruits. The Southeast team, based in Fargo and led by MSG Richard Blumler, exceeded their assigned mission by achieving 111.5%. The Northeast recruiting team in Grand Forks, led by MSG Robert Buzick, made their assigned mission two consecutive years by achieving 100.7% success rate this year. This recruiting accomplishment combined with more Soldiers re-enlisting enabled us to enjoy an extremely low attrition rate of 11.8% (exceeding the 12% goal). These outstanding results were possible due to a total commitment at all levels.

Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Klein, N.D. Army National Guard recruiter, stands at attention along side high school students who recently joined the N.D. Army Guard as a large U.S. Flag is unfurled on the field during Military Appreciation night at the Bismarck Demons vs. Century Patriots soccer match on Sept. 17.

Air Defenders Prep for National Training Center

On Oct. 4, Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment conducted a live fire exercise at Camp Ripley, Minn. The unit used blank rounds while firing the M2 and M3P .50 cal machine guns to familiarize themselves with their weaponry in preparation for their mission at the National Training Center (NTC) April 2020. These exercises will help the unit be successful in performing their duties supporting a maneuver force during their NTC rotation.

Top left. Soldiers of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment load their M2 machine gun during a live fire exercise at Camp Ripley, Minn on Oct. 4. Top right and bottom. Air Defense Soldiers perform maintenance on their AN/TWQ-1 Avenger air defense system at Camp Ripley.

JROTC Orientation Flight

About 60 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) from Devils Lake high school participated orientation rides aboard a N.D. Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter on Oct. 4 at Camp Grafton Training Center. These orientation rides, provided by the 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, are authorized for JROTC, ROTC and Civil Air Patrol cadets.

A Devils Lake JROTC cadet heads back to the assembly area after enjoying an orientation ride aboard a N.D. Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.

ESGR Freedom Award

Attention Guard Soldiers and Airmen. Consider nominating your employer.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. The award was created to publicly recognize employers who provide exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees.

Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member. For more information visit freedomaward.mil or call Janette Fetch at (701) 333-2057.

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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office
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