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TAG Line Aug. 21, 2020

Top photo: Spc. Hannah Miller, left, is guided by Spc. Joey Vandervliet, as she hooks up a 4,000 pound concrete block to a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter on Aug. 17, 2020. Both Soldiers are assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

Best Warrior Competition

The N.D. State Command Sergeant Major hosted the 2021 N.D. Best Warrior Competition at the Camp Grafton Training Center, near Devils Lake, N.D. on August 13-16, 2020. Events included an appearance before a command sergeants major board; essay and written exam; physical fitness assessment; warrior tasks and battle drills; weapons range; and mystery events. Participants competed in two categories, non-commissioned officer (NCO) and Soldier-level. The winners were Sgt. Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, NCO category, and Spc. Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company, Soldier category. These two Guardsmen will represent North Dakota in the Region VI Best Warrior Competition next spring.

Spc. Andrew Doss, 191st Military Police Company, secures his area during the Best Warrior Competition at Camp Grafton Training Center, N.D. on August 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Spc. John Coombs, 188th Engineer Company, assembles a M249 light machine gun (LMG) while wearing a protective mask during the Best Warrior Competition on August 14. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Staff Sgt. Tek Khatiwoda, left, 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and Spc. John Coombs, 188th Engineer Company, participate in the uniform inspection test during the Best Warrior Competition on August 13. The competitors must correct identify deficiencies on the Army Service Uniform (ASU). (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Drew Ward, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)

Sgt. David Feilen, right, 188th Engineer, and Spc. Benjamin Snyder, 818th Engineer Company, look for deficiencies during the uniform inspection test during the Best Warrior Competition on August 13. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Drew Ward, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)
Sgt. David Feilen, 188th Engineer Company, appears before the non-commissioned officer board staffed by command sergeants major during Best Warrior Competition on August 13.

Sgt. Brandon Wendland, 957th Engineer Company, performs pushups during the Army Combat Fitness Test at the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 13. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 116th Public Affair Detachment)

Sgt. Lenzel Koskela, 191st Military Police Company, performs in the dead lift event during the Army Combat Fitness Test at the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 13. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Drew Ward, 116th Public Affair Detachment)

Sgt. Isaac Bitter, right, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and Spc. LeSean Pickstock, 957th Engineer Company, perform security during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Sgt. Reily Altenburg, 164th Engineer Battalion, applies camouflage during common Soldier task testing during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Sgt. Marcus Schwarzrock, 164th Engineer Battalion, throws a hand grenade as part of common Soldier tasks during Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Thea Jorgensen, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)

Sgt. Isaac Bitter, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, participates in one of the Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Drew Ward, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)
Spc. LeSean Pickstock, 957th Engineer Company, performs an Australian rappel during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 16. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Sgt. David Hathaway, 188th Army Band, is tested on first aid procedures in one of the Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Drew Ward, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)

Spc. William Thompson, 164th Engineer Battalion, fires his M9 pistol during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 14. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Spc. Alexander French, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment, dons a protective chemical suit in response to a chemical attack as part of common Soldier task testing during the Best Warrior Competition on Aug. 15. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Spc. Austen Hantan, 191st Military Police Company, assembles a M249 light machine gun (LMG) during the Best Warrior Competition's mystery event in the on August 14. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Thea Jorgensen, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)

Indispensable Air Guard Support

The 119th Wing's 119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is a multi-faceted unit with many unique capabilities featuring Airmen with a variety of skills and Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC). These talented maintainers keep the Happy Hooligans' RPA (Remoted Piloted Aircraft) safely in the air, ensure vehicles stay operational and enable the execution of required training for Hooligan aircrews and aircrews from other units in the RPA enterprise. Our maintainers’ hard work has contributed to the local launch and recovery element improving mission metrics from fiscal year 2019 to the current fiscal year which still has about 40 days left. For example, in comparing 2019 to 2020, total sorties increased from 110 to 138; operational readiness hours flown went from nearly 400 to almost 600; and inert training munitions deployed increased from 25 to 80. (U.S. Air National Guard story and photos by David H. Lipp)

Master Sgt. Cody Kjergaard, a quality assurance (QA) member of the 119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, checks inert bombs at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo on August 11.

Senior Airman Wyatt Schulz, left, and Senior Airman Chris Heinrich, both aerospace ground equipment (AGE) technicians assigned to the 119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, inspect and maintain an aircraft generator on August 11.

Tech. Sgt. Colter Pratt, left, and Master Sgt. James Jennen, both in the fabrication section of the 119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, replace fasteners on an aircraft panel at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., on August 14.

Tech. Sgt. Tyler Ochsner, of the 119th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, radios from the maintenance operation control center (MOCC) at the N.D. Air National Guard Base in Fargo on August 11.

Aviators Prep for Potential Mobilization

Soldiers of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment (Assault Helicopter), continued their annual training this week by rehearsing tasks and missions they expect if they are mobilized for duty in the National Capital Region (NCR) later this year. The aviators flew their UH-60L Black Hawks in multi-ship formations, refueled at a Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP), performed extensive Airframe Condition Evaluation (ACE) maintenance and trained on sling load operations. (U.S. Army National Guard photos and story by Bill Prokopyk, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs)

CW3 Codie Suhr performs pre-flight maintenance checks on the tail rotor of his UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter in the hanger at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D. on August 17.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Taylor Thielen, left, and Spc. Joey Vandervliet, arrange straps and chains of a 4,000 pound concrete block while waiting for a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter on August 17 during slingload training. Both Soldiers are assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Taylor Thielen, left, is guided by Spc. Joey Vandervliet, as he hooks up a 4,000 pound concrete block to a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during slingload training on Aug. 17. Both Soldiers are assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment and are performing annual training in preparation of a potential mobilization.

A UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, transports a 4,000 pound concrete used for slingload training at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D. on August 17.
A UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, transports a 4,000 pound concrete training block behind the Black Hawk hanger at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D. on August 17.

Suicide Awareness Push-Up Challenge

About 25 Soldiers of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment participated in the '22 push-up challenge' at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D. on August 20. The purpose of this nation-wide challenge's is to raise awareness that 22 Veterans die by suicide per day.

Medical Flight Training in Mclean County

Army Officer Candidate School

Four officer candidates from the N.D. Army National Guard's OCS (Officer Candidate School) Class 64, along with nine cadre members and over 20 senior N.D. Army National Guard leaders, participated in a nine-mile road march on Aug. 15, 2020 The Soldiers walked around the perimeter of Camp Grafton Training Center with packs that weighed at least 35 pounds. This road march is part of the OCS curriculum. (U.S. National Guard photos by Maj. Jacy Voglewede, Joint Force Headquarters)

Members of Officer Candidate School Class 64, cadre members and senior N.D. Army National Guard leaders begin a nine-mile foot march around the perimeter of Camp Grafton Training Center on August 15.

Soldiers and OCS candidates cross a Baily Bridge built over a wet area at Camp Grafton Training Center on August 15.

Members of Officer Candidate School Class 64, cadre members and senior N.D. Army National Guard leaders conduct a nine-mile foot march around the perimeter of Camp Grafton Training Center on August 15.
Members of Officer Candidate School Class 64, cadre members and senior N.D. Army National Guard leaders conduct a nine-mile foot march around the perimeter of Camp Grafton Training Center on August 15.

OCS Class 63 Graduates

Five members of the N.D. Army National Guard's OCS (Officer Candidate School) Class 63 graduated on Aug 15, 2020. Four of these graduates, accepted their commissions the same day. (U.S. National Guard photos by Staff Sgt. Ashley Johls, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)

Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, far right, commander of the N.D. Army National Guard, administers the oath of office to newly commissioned graduates of OCS Class 63 on Aug. 15, 2020. Officers depicted are 2nd Lt. Bruce Shields, left and and 2nd Lt. Brittney Hertz.

Members of OCS Class 63 gather for a quick photo inside the Edwards House at Camp Grafton Training Center on Aug. 15, 2020. Left to right, 2nd Lt. Bruce Shields, 2nd Lt. Chelsy Adams, Sgt. Brett Reynolds, 2nd Lt. Rui Guo, and 2nd Lt. Brittney Hertz. Reynolds did not immediately accept his officer's commission.

MAC VI Regional Marksmanship Championships

Fourteen N.D. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen competed at the MAC VI Regional Marksmanship Championship at Camp Guernsey, Wyo., Aug. 13 to 16. The N.D. National Guard fielded three teams; Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. For the ninth year in a row, North Dakota's Alpha team earned the title of Aggregate Match Champions. This year's Alpha team consisted of Staff Sgt. Gavin Rook, Sgt. Tyler Goldade, Capt. Thomas Gross, and Staff Sgt. Joshua Renville. Once again, the N.D. Army and Air National Guard shooters demonstrated their excellent marksmanship skills by earning forty team and individual awards and finishing in the top three places of evaluated events.

N.D. National Guard Alpha team members Staff Sgt. Tyrel Hoppe, left, and Senior Master Sgt Brian Rook, engage targets on the Reflexive Fire Match at Camp Guernsey, Wyo., on Aug. 14, 2020.

Besides being Aggregate Match Champions, the N.D. National Guard's Alpha Team took first places in the two team matches; General George Patton Combat Pistol Exercise and the Rundown.

COVID-19 Precautions

The N.D. National Guard is working hard to adhere to social distancing and face coverings especially indoors for engagements over 15 minutes to help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Meetings are conducted with rooms at half capacity while allowing others to participate vitually.

Left: Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, center left, leads a diverse group of staff members in developing courses of action and topics for the September virtual meeting designed for retirees on Aug. 20, 2020. This virtual presentation is in lieu of the annual Retiree Weekend Reunion held at the Camp Grafton Training Center. Right: The N.D. National Guard Joint Executive Council (JEC), which consists of general officers, and other senior officers and non-commissioned officers, met at Camp Grafton Training Center on Aug. 14, 2020. JEC members provide advice to the adjutant general and help develop strategic vision and guidance for the N.D. National Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard photos by Spc. Kristin L. Berg, 68th Troop Command)

Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve Update

Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed this week as Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve, Aug. 16 to 22, 2020. To nominate your employer for supporting your military service go to ESGR.mil or call 701-333-2057 for more information.

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