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TAG Line November 22, 2019

Guard Exercises Blizzard Response

BISMARCK, N.D. — About 100 N.D. National Guard Members and civilian emergency responders participated in a blizzard response exercise Nov.15-17 at Fraine Barracks. The Guard teamed with the N.D. Department of Emergency Services and local emergency managers from Morton and Burleigh Counties, and the city of Bismarck. The exercise simulated National Guard partnering with civilian authorities responding to a paralyzing statewide blizzard. Top photo: N.D. Guard members participating in the blizzard response exercise discuss EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) requests as part of the exercise play. From left: Sgt. 1st Class Jen Fischer, Senior Master Sgt. Kim Potter, Maj. Kim Miller and Master Sgt. Cassandra Colling.

N.D. Guard units participating in the exercise included the military support section (domestic operations) team of Joint Force Headquarters and elements of the 119th Wing, 68th Troop Command and 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. The N.D. National Guard is essential to domestic emergency operations as the first military responder to disasters in order to save lives and preserve property when ordered by the governor to engage. The Guard’s military support section trains to assist with wildfires, floods, tornados, as well as blizzards. The N.D. Guard partnered with National Guard Bureau for exercise design and execution.

Col. Tad Schauer, left, director of the N.D. National Guard's military support, discusses exercise play with Lt. Col. Brad Brown and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Amber Wilson during last weekend's blizzard response exercise at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck.

N.D. National Guard's Lt. Col. Kevin Miller, works at the computer during the blizzard response exercise. Miller was a white cell role player for the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

Benin Partners with N.D. for Emergency Operations Training

Incident Command Systems Training was conducted Nov. 18-22 in Cotonou, the capital of the Republic of Benin, which has been one of N.D. National Guard's state partners since 2014. Sherry Adams, N.D. Department of Health and Bill Brown from the N.D. Department of Emergency Services facilitated the first day's training. Other participants included representatives from the National Agency for Civil Protection along with Benin National Firefighters. Lt. Col. Mark McEvers and Maj. Karl Altenburg, served as facilitators of the National Emergency Operations Center Curriculum.

Participants of the disaster preparedness training in Benin work together in the Republic of Benin. The exercise was conducted from Nov. 18-22 in Cotonou, the nation's capital.

One of the four teams exercising as an incident command operations team was participating in the exercise. The Incident Commander, white vest, is delivering the briefing while the red vested operations officer waits for his turn. The Logistics officer clad in yellow, along the blue-vested planner wait with the finance officer, green vest, for their turn.

Civil Support Team Exercises at Bismarck Event Center

The survey section of the 81st Civil Support Team (CST) conducted an air monitoring and communications exercise at the Bismarck Events Center on Nov. 14. The goal was to practice air monitoring of a large indoor space and identify areas that might have difficulty maintaining communications and equipment readings in order to plan how to overcome those shortfalls. The team practiced using their BG-4 rebreathers for over two hours instead of the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). They are able to stay in suit and downrange at least two times longer on rebreathers than SCBA but using the former is more physically and mentally demanding.

Top left: During an exercise to test capabilities on Nov. 14 at the Bismarck Event Center, Sgt. Hemphill, located in the 81st Civil Support Team (CST) survey trailer, validates that air monitoring equipment is calibrated. Right top: CST member Sgt. Travis Johnson checks his exposure to radiation while setting up an air monitoring system. Bottom: Johnson moves through the Bismarck Event Center to set up his monitoring equipment.

TAG Advisory Board

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann hosted an employee advisory board meeting with N.D. National Guard representatives at the N.D. Air Guard Base, in Fargo on Nov. 15. The board is comprised of Guard members and civilians of all duty statuses, to include federal title 32 and title 5 technicians, Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) Soldiers and Airmen and state employees. The participants are tasked with evaluating workplace procedures and policies and exploring potential improvements.

Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing vice commander, briefs during the Nov. 15 employee advisory board meeting at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo.

1st Lt. Scott Leier contributes comments during the Nov. 15 employee advisory board meeting at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo.

DAG Tours Air Base

Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, Deputy Adjutant General (DAG), left, traveled to Fargo to receive a N.D. Air National Guard mission update and to participate in a familiarization tour at the Air National Guard Base on Nov. 20.

Top: Lt. Col. Ryan Ayers, 119th Operations Group commander, leads Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, the N.D. National Guard deputy adjutant general, left, on a base familiarization tour at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo on Nov. 20. 1st Lt. Jeremiah Colbert, 119th Wing public affairs officer, right, and Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Miller, N.D. Air National Guard state command chief, accompany them. Bottom left: Chief Master Sgt. James Melting, 119th Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, welcomes Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber during a base familiarization tour and mission update brief at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo. Right: Col. Teresa McDonough, 119th Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group commander, left, greets Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber.
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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office
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