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    North Dakota Guardsmen protect the capital region

    North Dakota Guardsmen protect the capital region

    Photo By Ismael Ortega | North Dakota Army National Guardsmen assigned to 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense...... read more read more

    FORT BLISS, TX, UNITED STATES

    04.27.2017

    Story by Ismael Ortega 

    Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

    Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, North Dakota Army National Guard, departed April 17 from the Silas L. Copeland Arrival/Departure Airfield Control Group here for a yearlong mission to protect the national capital region.

    The unit left after completing premobilization training with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security here, and will take up the mantle of ensuring the safety of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area.

    The unit, in support of Operation Noble Eagle, will work with other Department of Defense agencies to keep the region’s airspace secure.

    “I’m very privileged and blessed to be in this position, to be taking these fine Soldiers on this very unique and high profile mission,” said Lt. Col. Jodee Aubol, commander, 1st Bn., 188th ADA Regt. “Providing security over the national capital region is the highest profile homeland defense mission that the Army National Guard conducts.”

    Assembling from Minnesota, Nebraska and as far away as California, this will be the second time Soldiers from the Peace Garden State will be returning to the nation’s capital, and many of the original Soldiers who supported the unit’s first NCR mission back in 2013 are supporting it once again.

    This year, the unit conducted their annual training, Exercise American Shield, at Fort Bliss, which led up to the Soldiers’ premobilization training. During that time, the Soldiers were able to fully use their equipment without the technical difficulties often associated with a northern winter.

    “It was important for us to do Exercise American Shield here, in an annual training status. We were in a very focused environment, free of any type of adverse weather conditions,” Aubol said. “North Dakota, in February, is subzero (temperatures), high winds and snow. The equipment and Soldiers work better in a warmer environment.”

    Many Soldiers were deploying for the first time, so being able to train and operate their equipment in such conditions allowed them to hone their technical proficiency.

    While deployed, Soldiers will have personal development goals set to better themselves, including improving their physical fitness and completing additional military studies in order to seek promotion. In their last deployment, two Soldiers from the maintenance section completed their college degrees.

    “I think the Soldiers’ attitude and morale has been very high. They’re very excited to get out and perform their duties on mission,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Josh Entzel, command sergeant major, 1st Bn., 188th ADA Regt. “We have 32 Soldiers. This is their fourth or more deployment, so we try to lean on them a lot to be a positive influence for the younger (ones) … to show them the good stuff that can come from these deployments.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.27.2017
    Date Posted: 05.01.2017 11:14
    Story ID: 232121
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 
    Hometown: BISMARCK, ND, US
    Hometown: EL PASO, TX, US
    Hometown: FARGO, ND, US
    Hometown: FORT BLISS, TX, US

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