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TAG Line JUNE 21, 2019

North Dakota National Guard participates in Military Appreciation Night

Members of the North Dakota National Guard participated in a celebration of U.S. Military service during military appreciation night at the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks baseball game played at Newman Outdoor Field, Fargo, on June 18. The 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment and 191st Military Police Company provided equipment for static display and former adjutant general, Maj. Gen. (Ret) Mike Haugen threw out the first pitch. Air and Army recruiters were present and several new members of the Air National Guard took the oath of office before the crowd. Top photo: Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Landman of the 188th Army Band, performs the national anthem on a trumpet during Red Hawks Military Appreciation Night.

Capt. Daniel Geu, of the Fargo Military Entrance Processing Station, administers the oath of enlistment to recent enlistees of various branches of the U.S. Military, including North Dakota Air National Guard student flight members, during a commitment ceremony at Military Appreciation Night at the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks baseball game on June 18.

Members of 119th Wing Recruiting and Retention office prepare to visit with people attending the Military Appreciation Night at the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks baseball game on June 18. From left to right: Tech. Sgt. Neil Nelson, Tech. Sgt. Shelly Fink and Senior Master Sgt. Merri Jo ‘MJ’ Filloon

Saber Guardian 2019

The focus of the second week of exercise Saber Guardian 2019 is building readiness and partnerships. Our North Dakota units are working with military partners and Romanian civil authorities to promote interoperability in a multi-national environment. The support received from the local community has been instrumental for a successful exercise and Romania's military has gone to extreme lengths to ensure the overall success of Saber Guardian. Engaging with our partner nations' military gives our Soldiers the opportunity to learn new skills, experience and appreciate other cultures and develop new perspectives on military service. Every North Dakota Soldier will return home with new experiences and skills that will increase the overall capability of the North Dakota National Guard. Saber Guardian 2019 is an exercise co-led by the Romanian Joint Force Command and U.S. Army Europe, and is taking place June 3-24 at various locations in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. This exercise is designed to improve the integration of multinational combat forces.

Read more about the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade meeting with key leaders in Slobozia, Romania.

Top: Soldiers of Alpha Company, 231st Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) use a forklift to recovery a damaged HMMWV. Bottom right: Vehicles stopped at the exit checkpoint on their way out of camp. Bottom left: Alpha company, 231st BSB Soldier performs maintenance on a piece of equipment.

North Dakota National Guard Soldiers enjoyed opportunities to do some exploring during Saber Guardian 2019. Many recently participated in a community day event, demonstrating their appreciation to the Romanian community for being gracious hosts. Whether home or abroad, community involvement remains vital to our success.

Air Assault Operations in Romania

North Dakota National Guard Soldiers from Alpha Company, 231st Brigade Support Battalion, along with Soldiers from the 50th Multi-role Bridge Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., participated in sling load operations outside of Bordusani, Romania on June 18. The helicopters carried bridging assets and other supplies in support of wet-gap crossing operations on the Danube River. The aircraft were flown by Soldiers of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) stationed in Germany in support of Saber Guardian 2019.

Top left: A UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter carries a load in support of a wet-gap crossing operation on June 18. Top right: sunset over Romania as seen from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Bottom: Soldiers rush to perform a "hot-load" on a waiting Chinook helicopter during Saber Guardian 2019.

Ghana: State Partnership Program Update

Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obrigewitch, 164th Engineer Battalion command sergeant major, and Staff Sgt. Rachelle Barendt Klein, 188th Engineer Company squad leader, traveled to Accra, Ghana in the support of the state partnership program. A civilian history teacher in Dickinson, Obrigewitch put his skills to use as a guest lecturer to a class of forty Ghanaian non-commissioned officers during their week-long course. His instruction included U.S. history, rank structure comparison between the armies of both nations, leadership and military communications. Obrigewitch also helped strengthen relationships with the Ghanaian Armed Forces leadership by meeting with the Ghanaian Army’s chief of staff, Major General William Ayamdo and reconnected with the Sergeant Major of the Ghanaian Army, Master Warrant Officer Daniel Addo. Obrigewitch attended the Sergeants Major Academy with Addo at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Left: Ghanaian non-commissioned officers work together on a practical exercise during a week-long course in Accra, Ghana. Top right: Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Obrigewitch (in red) leads physical training with a group of Ghanaian non-commissioned officers. Bottom left: Obrigewitch lectures to a class of Ghanaian non-commissioned officers during a week-long course. Bottom right: Staff Sgt. Rachelle Barendt Klein is presented with a thank you gift from Maj. Gen. Oppong Peprah.

N.D. Department of Emergency Services assist Oklahoma

Members of our N.D. Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) team are always ready to respond at a moment’s notice to assist North Dakotans; but we’ve also helped communities in other states. So far this year, 21 counties in Oklahoma have been designated for disaster assistance as part of the federal disaster declaration for severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding. When Oklahoma asked for emergency response managers through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), Brandon Hoechst and Jeff Thompson joined their team from May 28 to June 8 to assist with response operations. EMAC is a mechanism that allows states to send personnel, equipment and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states.

Since 2005, NDDES staff have supported others states through EMAC during disaster events in six locations, including: Louisiana (2005 Hurricane), Mississippi (2011 Flooding), Puerto Rico (2017 Hurricane), Florida (2017 Hurricane), Hawaii (2018 Volcano) and most recently in Oklahoma (2019 Flooding/Tornadoes).

Left: Jeff Thompson (left) and Brandon Hoechst, of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, assisted Oklahoma emergency responders from May 28 to June 8. Right: Thompson at work in the Oklahoma state emergency operations center.

North Dakota Army Guard participates in AFRICOM's Medical Readiness Exercise

Soldiers from North Dakota Army National Guard's Medical Detachment participated in Medical Readiness Exercise (MEDEX) 19-3 in Accra, Ghana this past week. MEDREX, a U.S. African Command endeavor, allows U.S. medical forces to train in an alternatively resourced and constrained environment, share medical practices with partner nation military services and build lasting relationships with Ghanaian medical professionals.

U.S. military medical professionals perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a patient during Medical Readiness Exercise 19-3 at Accra, Ghana, June 11.

North Dakota Army National Guard Capt. Annie Gerhardt (right), emergency medicine nurse, partners with Ghanaian medical professionals as they listen to patient diagnoses during Medical Readiness Exercise 19-3 at Accra, Ghana, June 10.

North Dakota National Guard Sgt. Nicolle Maggie, health care specialist, checks the blood pressure of a Ghanaian patient during Medical Readiness Exercise 19-3 at Accra, Ghana, June 14.

Engineers Improve Camp Grafton Training Center

Soldiers of the 188th Engineer Company (Vertical) out of Wahpeton spent part of their annual training period improving Camp Grafton Training Center by exercising their construction skills. The engineers constructed new 8-plex housing as well as hutments housing for Camp Grafton, and a bath house and latrine for the Tactical Training Base located at Camp Grafton South. The engineers also supported the Bridge Crewmember Course held at the 164th Regional Training Institute, by moving materials to Richtie Slough.

Top left: Soldiers of the 188th Engineer Company construct an 8-plex lodging structure at Camp Grafton Training Center. Bottom Left: Spc. Jonathan Stelton routers a base plate for construction of the 8-plex. Right: Spc. Aaron Ato-Davies carries wall sheeting into the Tactical Training Base bath house and latrine.

Air Defenders at the National Training Center

Seventy-six Soldiers from Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment spent their annual training (May 23 - June 14) this year providing air defense support for the 116 Calvary Brigade Combat Team, Idaho Army National Guard at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, Calif. The battery trained on its warfighting mission; providing early warning of air threats and air defense. NTC is the Army's premier training center designed to prepare Soldiers for combat with the most realistic and demanding training as close to war as it gets.

Spc. Logan Wilson, Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, changes a tire on a HMMWV on June 1 during his unit's annual training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Monreal, Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, guides an Avenger Air Defense System into position on June 6 during the unit's annual training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Soldiers from Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, engage enemy aircraft with Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) on June 9 during the unit's annual training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. From left: Warrant Officer 1 Kurt Morton, Sgt. Garret Engelke, Sgt. Nicholas Olauson and Staff Sgt.Garrett Beiningen.