TAG Line March 6, 2020

Confined Space Rescue Training

Members of the Fargo Fire Department joined Airmen of the119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 119th Safety Office to conduct MQ-9 Reaper confined space rescue training for the first time at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo on March 4. If an aircraft maintainer became incapacitated inside an MQ-9 aircraft fuel cell, fire fighters could be called to assist in the rescue. This training is an annual requirement for any aircraft that could accidentally incapacitate personnel within. The MQ-9 mock aircraft fuel cell was built to exact specifications by Master Sgt. Scott Hovda and Master Sgt. Darby Plath. A thorough safety risk assessment helped mitigate and reduce hazards of this important training. Top photo. An aircraft maintainer crawls inside a mock fuel cell as part of the training with the Fargo Fire Department.

Members of the Fargo Fire Department work with 119th Wing personnel to conduct confined space rescue training on March 4.

N.D. engineers work with Ghanaian partners

The N.D National Guard team, led by the 164th Regional Training Institute (RTI), is in Africa working with the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF). The Guardsmen are assisting in developing a program of instruction for the GAF engineer school. The instruction focuses on the operation of bulldozers, graders and excavators in support of road maintenance and construction. This bilateral engagement allows our N.D. Guardsmen to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners in developing lasting relationships and will assist in Ghana's peacekeeping operations. Currently, Ghana is the 10th largest peacekeeping contributor for United Nations missions world-wide.

Engineers from the N.D. National Guard and Ghanaian Armed Forces work together in learning and improving heavy equipment operating skills in Ghana on March 2.

Helping with History

Members of the N.D. National Guard's J-5/9 Strategic Plans, Policy and Outreach answered the call from the historian to help organize some of our historical property stored at Fraine Barracks on Feb. 27. We have many items stored in the warehouse ranging from hats and uniforms worn during World War I and II to unit recognition plaques from the 1950s and 1960s; from unit colors that flew overseas to guidons carried to annual training. These items help tell the rich story of the N.D. National Guard. We are currently assessing options for a military museum.

Members of the N.D. National Guard's J-5/9 Strategic Plans, Policy and Outreach help organize historical property at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck. Bottom photo. Staff Sgt. Marty Mosbrucker, left, inflates a flat tire on an anti-aircraft weapon captured during Desert Storm in 1991.

Flood Response Exercise

Members of the N.D. National Guard spent this week preparing for possible spring flooding in the state by conducting a flood response exercise at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck. About 80 Soldiers and Airmen from the Guard's Domestic Operations Section are working from the organization's Joint Operations Center (JOC) exercising command and control for military response during the hypothetical flood response which culminates on March 7. The JOC serves as a nexus for information sharing, as well as personnel and equipment tracking during a domestic emergency. When activated by the governor in response to requests through the N.D. Department of Emergency Services, the N.D. National Guard serves as the first military responders during a natural disaster or emergency within the state.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Marqui Labatore, left, has a discussion with Lt. Col. John Kapocius during the N.D. Guard's flood response exercise in Bismarck on March 5.
Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Greenstein, left, studies the Common Operating Picture (COP) while Senior Master Sgt. Luke Gardiner tracks mission progress during the N.D. Guard's flood response exercise in Bismarck on March 5.

More than A soldier

Sgt. 1st Class Matt Hebl, readiness non-commissioned officer for the 815th Engineer Company, dedicates his time outside of his National Guard duties to the LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes wrestling team. As head coach, he recently coached his freshman son, Garrett Hebl, to a state championship victory in the Class B 145 lb weight class. Garrett's Championship broke a 22-year drought for the wrestling program. The N.D Class B State Individual Wrestling Tournament was held at the Fargodome Feb. 20 to 22.

Sgt. 1st Class Matt Hebl lifts his son Garrett to celebrate his win at the Class B state wrestling match on Feb. 22 while assistance coach (other son) Brent Hebl congratulates his brother Garrett.

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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office