News: Minnesota National Guard Drug Task Force receives Adjutant General’s 2010 Army Unit Safety Award
Story by Sgt. John Angelo
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Counter Drug Task Force, Minnesota National Guard received the Adjutant General’s 2010 Army Unit Safety Award July 8. The award was presented to the Counter Drug Coordinator, Lt. Col. Chad Sackett on behalf of the 2010 Task Force that consisted of 37 soldiers and airmen. The Counter Drug Task Force received a 100 percent rating continuously.
“We have received a 100 percent safety rating for as long as I have been part of Counter Drug, and I have been here for the last nine years,” said Sackett. He also said that since the counter drug task force was started in 1989, there have been no fatalities and only a few minor injuries.
The MNDTF was established in 1989 and is a federally funded joint Army and Air National Guard program that provides support to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, community based organizations and educational institutions that request support with counterdrug, counter narco-terrorism and prevention activities.
In its scope of operations during 2010 it used UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for its educational Fly-In Program and in support of law enforcement. The Fly-In program reached out and educated 59 organizations and over 9,000 students. The Black Hawks were also used to provide recon, surveillance, command and control, observation, training and aerial photos. The pilots and crews have logged over 12,00 accident free hours since 2003.
The MNDTF also had 18 analysts working in 15 different law enforcement agencies and travel thousands of miles a year around the state and across state lines in all driving conditions performing their numerous Drug Demand Reduction programs and ION Scan missions. There hasn’t been any privately owned or government owned injury accident since the programs inception.
“Safety is a priority for us because we are an operational unit,” said Sackett. “We are going to continue the same level of safety, making sure we are continuing our risk assessments and always improving our safety measures. Being safe adds to the effectiveness of our Task Force.”
During the 2010 fiscal year, the MNDTF Drug Interdiction program, while assisting local state and federal law enforcement, helped facilitate over 500 arrests. It also helped recover over $26 million in illegal drugs, weapons and property involved in the manufacture, cultivation and sale of illegal drugs.
This work, Minnesota National Guard Drug Task Force receives Adjutant General’s 2010 Army Unit Safety Award, by SSG John Angelo, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.