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TAG Line july 19, 2019

Top photo: Staff Sgt. Michelle Spell, of the 219th Security Forces Squadron, takes a defensive position during a training exercise at the Camp Gilbert C. Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D., July 16, 2019.

119th Wing members participate in realistic training at Camp Gilbert C. Grafton, N.D.

The 219th Security Forces Squadron and 119th Medical Group joined forces July 13-19, 2019, for several days of annual training exercises and team-building activities at Camp Gilbert C. Grafton near Devils Lake, N.D. While the 219th security Forces Squadron sharpened their skills with their annual weapons familiarization, training, and qualification, 119th medical professionals were embedded into security forces squads to train and to provide medical assistance if necessary. The Airmen also participated in team-building exercises and confidence course activities to help with cohesiveness between personnel working together in the Minot Air Force Base Missile Field Complex near Minot, N.D.

Airman 1st Class Maggie Hebert, of the 219th Security Forces Squadron lowers herself on a rope using an 'Australian Rappel' method, as instructor Staff Sgt. Jon Rambow, of the 817th Engineer Company, shouts directions to her from above at the Camp Gilbert C. Grafton Training Center.

Staff Sgt. Joel Ortiz-Diaz, of the 219th Security Forces Squadron, makes his way through a confidence course Camp Gilbert C. Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D.

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Burnell, standing, keeps count of pushups being done by four 219th Security Forces Squadron members as part of a team-building exercise at the Camp Gilbert C. Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D., July 16, 2019. Staff Sgt. Shawn Mcelyea can be seen straining to contribute one more pushup.

AG Marksmanship Competition

North Dakota National Guard shooters competed in the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match at the Camp Grafton South firing complex, near McHenry, North Dakota. The competition was held fromJuly 10-14. The Purpose of the event is to enhance marksmanship skills and to identify the top 12 shooters who will move on to the Marksmanship Advisory Committee Region VI competition July 25-28 at Camp Guernsey Wyo.

Airmen of the 119th Wing’s Alpha Team at the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match. The team placed first overall.

Senior Master Sgt. Wade Swenson, 119th Wing, fires at his target at the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match.

Members of the 815th Engineer Company competed at the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match at the Camp Grafton firing complex.

Capt. Blake Hillerson competes in the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match.

Airmen of the 119th Wing’s Bravo Team at the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Schur, right, and Staff Sgt. Gavin Rook, 119th Wing, check their targets during the 2019 Adjutant General's Combat Marksmanship Match.

Redesigned Website Improves Information about Emergency Services

Check out the North Dakota Department of Emergency Service's improved website. You can find separate links for Homeland Security and State Radio with information including preparedness, response, 9-1-1 services, recovery and mitigation etc. The website layout allows users to locate needed information more quickly. The address is www.des.nd.gov.

Tornado Response - City of Mott

Gov. Doug Burgum, along with North Dakota Homeland Security Director Cody Schulz, surveyed damage from a tornado that touched down July 12 in the city of Mott. The governor commended local leaders and the community for their preparation and response to the tornado, which caused significant damage but no injuries or deaths.

An EF-1 tornado with wind speeds of up to 105 mph touched down north of Mott at 9:24 p.m. last Friday, cutting a path about 2.8 miles long and stretching up to 200 yards wide, according to National Weather Service estimates. The twister flung debris into homes and peeled off roofing, flipped over campers and leveled the 4-H building at the Hettinger County Fairgrounds, with over 400 exhibits inside for the Hettinger County Fair. Authorities also reported downed power lines and branches, uprooted trees and damaged crops.

About 50 people took shelter at the county courthouse, and roughly 300 to 400 people at the fairgrounds were evacuated before the tornado, officials said. Schulz encouraged local leaders to pursue the NDDES’ Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which communities can access for siren and shelter projects to build resiliency. Read the release: Governor Commends Community Preparedness.

Gov. Doug Burgum speaks with officials near the remains of the 4-H building damaged at the Hettinger County Fairgrounds during a July 12 tornado.

Another angle of the damage done by a tornado on July 12 to the 4-H building damaged at the Hettinger County Fairgrounds.
Left: North Dakota Homeland Security Director Cody Schulz speaks with Cindy Marxen, NDSU Extension Office administrative assistant near buildings damaged by a July 12 tornado at the Hettinger County Fairgrounds. Right: Grain silos damaged by the July 12 tornado near Mott.

Honoring the Fallen

The 10th annual Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Memorial Torch Ride is honoring three North Dakota National Guardsmen and fallen Soldiers as it travels from Oregon to Washington D.C. These tributes are part of a 22-day, 4,000 mile, cross-country ride. Family and friends gathered at the Global War on Terror Memorial in Bismarck, as the torch burned in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde and Spc. Tyler Orgaard, who were killed on December 3, 2012 in Afghanistan. The organization will also stop in Fargo at the Elks Lodge to honor North Dakota National Guardsman Spc. Michael Hermanson who was killed on May 23, 2006 in Iraq. Since it’s inception, they have recognized over 800 fallen service members of all branches.

Left: The Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Memorial Torch. Middle: Warren Williamson, organizer of Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Memorial Torch Ride presents the Orgaard Family with a plaque in remembrance of Spc. Tyler Orgaard. Right: Williamson presents the Linde Family with a plaque in remembrance of Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde.

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Disaster Response Exercise

Representatives from more than 50 local, state and federal agencies conducted a 3-day disaster response exercise at the North Dakota capital building and the State Emergency Operations Center at Fraine Barracks. The exercise scenario, hosted by the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES), was designed to test participants' ability to collaborate with their counterparts in a multi-jurisdictional environment. During the exercise, attendees were tasked with responding to a hazardous chemical spill in the Missouri River. The location of the incident created a scenario where agencies would have to identify potential issues and actions needed to resolve those issues while collaborating across four jurisdictions: Burleigh and Morton Counties and the Cities of Bismarck and Mandan. Additionally, city and county officials and representatives from North Dakota’s State Water Commission, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Highway Patrol, Department of Agriculture, Game and Fish, the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Navy, National Weather Service and the North Dakota National Guard.

Some of the areas tested included response planning, operational coordination, environmental response, health and safety, public information and warning, economic recovery, infrastructure systems and natural and cultural resources. Ensuring agency and community interaction and sharing ideas before a disaster happens allows us to more effectively respond as a team improving our preparedness.

Top left: Cody Schulz, director of N.D. Homeland Security, addresses representatives during a tabletop exercise at the State Capitol in Bismarck on July 15. Top right: Mary Senger (center), Burleigh County emergency manager, visits with exercise participants during a tabletop exercise at the State Capitol in Bismarck. Bottom: Representatives from more than 50 local, state and federal agencies today concluded a 3-day disaster response exercise sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services at the State Emergency Operations Center on Fraine Barracks in Bismarck.

North Dakota Guardsmen Team up With Benin Partners

The State Partnership Program relationship between the North Dakota National Guard and the Republic of Benin began in 2014. The objective of the State Partnership Program is to provide low cost high impact engagements between stakeholders to share ideas and experiences in support of U.S. Embassy, the Department of Defense, and Combatant Commanders goals. The most common forms of engagements between the NDNG and the Republic of Benin focus on disaster preparedness and this example which is a military to military engagement. Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Lindberg, 817th Engineer Company (SAPPER) and Sgt. 1st Class Rithy (Mike) Yem, 818th Engineer Company (SAPPER) participated in a Combat Engineer event in Cotonou, Benin, which showcased their flexibility to demonstrate not only combat engineer skills (Counter IED awareness), but also skills important to peacekeeping operation requirements in Africa. The peacekeeping skills included entry control point tasks which include how to effectively and safely conduct personnel and vehicle searches. These engagements also assist in sharpening the NDNG Soldiers skills by utilizing a french interpreter during the two week engagement which reinforces operating in expeditionary environments.

North Dakota National Guard's Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Lindberg watches as Benin soldiers practice personnel searches.

North Dakota National Guard's Sgt. 1st Class Rithy (Mike) Yem (left) demonstrates how U.S. forces conduct personnel searches while Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Lindberg looks on.

Benin Armed Forces Soldiers execute a vehicle search as part of a practical exercise while Guard Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Lindberg (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Rithy (Mike) Yem observe.

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ND National Guard Public Affairs
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