From The Field - Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brock Johlfs and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Taylor Thielen, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation, conduct instrument flight training in a UH-60M over the vicinity of Jamestown, N.D., Nov. 3, 2023. (National Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Kilber, 1-112th Aviation Battalion)
- 219th Security Forces Squadron Train
- Columbarium Groundbreaking
- Army Guard Unit Recruiting Awards
- Emergency Airfield Lighting Training
- New Colonel
- Holiday Safety
- FROM THE FIELD CAMPAIGN
- Veterans Voices
- Halloween Bismarck
219th Security Forces Squadron Train
219th Security Forces Squadron, North Dakota Air National Guard, during a force on force annual training exercise scenario at the Minot Air Force Base, N.D., Nov. 1, 2023. (National Guard Story & photos by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Knodle, 119th Wing Public Affairs)
The exercise included an intermingled combination of N.D. Air National Guard members doing their annual training and 91st Missile Security Forces Squadron members performing their day-to-day duties. The Air National Guard members are routinely integrated among the U.S. Air Force active duty personnel as they perform the real-World mission of missile field security in a seamless and indistinguishable manner.
A lot of work went into the project as funding had to be secured, which Senator Kevin Cramer and the National Guard say was a challenge at first. The design for the project was $126,712 with construction costs being $2,146,300. The National Cemetery Administration covered the design costs and provided a $1.86M grant to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery for construction. The N.D. Veterans Cemetery Foundation covered the remaining costs of approximately $627,300 for the project.
“This was a project, not just the columbarium itself, but the opportunity for the federal government to recognize there are state cemeteries that rival — if not actually supersede — the national cemeteries,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND.
Lt. Governor Tammy Miller says adding this to the cemetery is just one way to show support for veterans in North Dakota. “We are very committed to making North Dakota the most military-friendly state in the nation,” said Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller, R-ND.
The columbarium has space for more than 2,000 cremated remains and will provide interment space for the next 20 years. The cemetery says, this new addition will help with the rise in cremations.
“When we built this cemetery, we made sure that National Guard and Reserve veterans could be buried here if they so choose,” said Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, Adjutant General with the North Dakota National Guard.
“Currently, the burial rate for cremation, we are doing about 62% of our burials here are cremation versus a full body traditional burial,” said Pam Helbling-Schafer, director of the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery opened July 7, 1992, and conducts approximately 625 burials per year with 62% of burials being cremation. The columbarium will be open for interment mid-November and provides enough burial space for the next 20 years.
The Recruiting and Retention Battalion recognized both the Battalion and Company with the lowest attrition and the most leads to enlistment by percentage. Attrition rate meaning how many people leave the unit voluntarily, or involuntarily. The Battalion with the lowest attrition rate in FY23 was the 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation, with a 7.81% attrition rate. The Company with the lowest attrition rate was the 188th Army Band.
The battalion with the most leads to enlistment in FY23 was the 142nd Engineer Battalion, who submitted 227 leads, leading to 15 enlistments. At the company level, the 835th Engineer Team submitted 54 leads, resulting in 4 enlistments. The success was celebrated with many members of the state’s leadership. The biggest impact on mission readiness is the number of trained personal. These units exemplified outstanding stewardship of the N.D. Army National Guard by achieving these recruitment numbers.
Emergency Airfield Lighting Training
Airmen from the 2nd, 7th and 124th Civil Engineer Squadrons completed Emergency Airfield Lighting Systems (EALS) training at the 119th Wing Regional Training Site (RTS) in Fargo, N.D., Oct. 25, 2023. (National Guard story and photos by Staff. Sgt. Christa Anderson, 119th Wing Public Affairs)
If traveling, please ensure you plan ahead. If driving by motor vehicle pack your winter survival kit. Remember to ensure your car stays at least half full in case of snow and blizzard conditions that can sneak up at any time. If frying a turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, be careful and use safety practices when doing so. While hunting, practice firearms safety procedures, and be consistently aware of your surroundings. Be aware of slip, trip, fall hazards, and icy conditions, as this is the time of year for them. Last, but certainly not least, and probably most important, be checking on your battle buddies during this holiday season. Remember that not everyone is in the same circumstances on holidays, and we need to take care of our own.
I wish you all a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.
Please feel free to check out the links below for more information.
FROM THE FIELD CAMPAIGN
The N.D. National Guard's Task Force Cajetan's first marketing campaign, "From the Field", has produced a perspective unlike any other. The efforts have been primarily focused on Soldier and Airmen perspective with the purpose of providing a glimpse of everyday life as a Guard member. Look below to see which units provided photos and stories this week. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)
141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
Staff officers from the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) rehearse briefing a course of action analysis for the Brigade Commander in Fargo, Nov. 4, 2023. (National Guard story and photos by Col. Kevin Miller, N.D. National Guard, 141 MEB Commander)
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 142nd Engineer Battalion
The 142nd Engineer Battalion Headquarter and Headquarters Company conducted a unit Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment Inventory; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Training; hasty fighting positions in preparation for base defense, weapons familiarization and range card preparation in Valley City, N.D., Oct. 30, 2023.(National Guard story and photos by Col. Kevin Miller, N.D. National Guard, 141 MEB Commander)
Charlie Company 2-285th AVN
Company Charlie, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment (C/2-285th AVN) conducted refueling operations after a Night Vision Goggle flight at the Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) in Bismarck, Oct. 11, 2023. (National Guard story and photos by 2nd Lt. Alex Wiczek, C/2-285th AVN)
Soldiers from the 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion Heavy and Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment participated in a hoist training exercise at Camp Grafton Training Center in Devils Lake, N.D., Oct. 6, 2023. (National Guard story and photos by Sgt. First Class Jacqueline Kostecki, 142nd Engineer Combat Battalion Heavy)