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    Alaska State Defense Force activates signal detachment in Bethel

    Alaska State Defense Force activates signal detachment in Bethel

    Photo By 2nd Lt. Marisa Lindsay | Brig. Gen. (Alaska) Roger Holl, commander of the Alaska State Defense Force, speaks at...... read more read more

    BETHEL, AK, UNITED STATES

    01.15.2016

    Story by Staff Sgt. Balinda O'Neal Dresel 

    Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

    BETHEL, Alaska — Service members from the Alaska Army National Guard gathered alongside community members to witness the activation of the Alaska State Defense Force’s newest unit, the 2nd Signal Detachment, at a ceremony held at the AKARNG armory in Bethel, Jan. 14.

    Under the 49th Brigade, the 2nd Signal Detachment will provide satellite communications from Bethel to the Joint Operations Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

    “The Walker-Mallott administration has done a great thing by opening up rural Alaska to the Alaska State Defense Force,” explained Brig. Gen. Roger Holl, commander of the ASDF. “We can augment the Alaska National Guard in their mission and provide education, training and personal fulfillment through military service for the local residents.”

    Since 1984, the primary role of the all-volunteer state defense force has been to augment and support the Alaska National Guard.

    “Even if the National Guard is mobilized, there would be someone here, always,” said Holl.

    Holl explained that this new unit will enlarge the footprint of military service in the region and afford the opportunity for its people to serve and protect their home.

    The National Guard armory is home to the Bethel-based unit, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne).

    “We are opening our doors and welcoming another unit to share this facility with us,” said Capt. Walter Hotch-Hill, commander of B Co., 1-143rd, Inf. Airborne. “We are happy to have them here and look forward to working together in our future endeavors to support Bethel, western Alaska and the state of Alaska.”

    At the conclusion of the event, applications to join the ASDF were taken by former Guardsmen, veterans and even community members with no military affiliation.

    “There is a synergy going here among the people of Bethel to join the Alaska State Defense Force,” said Holl. “I hope this new unit will add to and help maintain the great military tradition of western Alaska and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.15.2016
    Date Posted: 01.16.2016 00:41
    Story ID: 186445
    Location: BETHEL, AK, US 

    Web Views: 427
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