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Published October 30, 2012, 03:20 PM

Grand Forks Guard Unit Alerted for Mobilization

The most-deployed unit in the North Dakota Army National Guard during the Global War on Terrorism has received an alert for a domestic mobilization.

By: Herald Staff Reports, Grand Forks Herald

The most-deployed unit in the North Dakota Army National Guard during the Global War on Terrorism has received an alert for a domestic mobilization.

The 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, which is based in Grand Forks, N.D., with detachments in Fargo and Bismarck, expects to mobilize in May for a yearlong mission in Washington.

More than 200 Air Defense soldiers will work with other Department of Defense agencies as part of the integrated air defense system designed to protect the airspace around the National Capital Region in support of Operation Noble Eagle, according to a news release from the North Dakota Guard.

The soldiers include 74 from the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks area, 64 from Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, 41 from Bismarck-Mandan and six from Devils Lake. Other soldiers who will be deployed come from an additional 25 communities across the state, according to Capt. Dan Murphy, a Guard public affairs officer.

The soldiers are scheduled to replace the 3rd Battalion, 265th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, a Florida Army National Guard unit.

The North Dakota Guardsmen will be led by Lt. Col. Jon Erickson, Bismarck. Command Sgt. Maj. Alvin Zimmerman, West Fargo, will serve as the senior enlisted leader.

“The 1-188th ADA offers depth and experience unlike any other unit, and that will heavily influence the success of the mission,” said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, in a press release. “The other key piece to these Soldiers’ success is the continued support of their families, friends and employers during another mission away from home. As civilians, these employers also contribute to our nation’s security through their support of our men and women in uniform.”

This marks the 10th deployment for the unit in less than a decade. The 1-188th ADA most recently deployed to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission in 2009-10. Prior to that, portions of the unit deployed six times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq. A summary of the unit’s missions follows:

• Kosovo Force 12 NATO peacekeeping mission, Kosovo, 2009-10.

• Sentinel Radar mission, Iraq, 2009-10, eight soldiers.

• Sentinel Radar mission, Afghanistan, 2009-10, 25 soldiers.

• RAID (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) IV mission, 2009-10, Afghanistan, 39 soldiers.

• RAID III, 2009-10, Afghanistan, 39 soldiers.

• RAID II, 2006-07, Afghanistan, 39 soldiers.

• Security Forces, 2006-07, Afghanistan, 152 soldiers. Four soldiers were killed in action: Sgt. Travis Van Zoest; Cpl. Curtis Mehrer; Cpl. Nathan Goodiron; and Cpl. Christopher Kleinwachter.

• JLENS (Joint Land Attack Elevated Netting Sensor)/RAID I, 2005-07, Afghanistan, 39 soldiers.

• F Battery, 2004-05, Iraq, 100 soldiers.

Other North Dakota Army National Guard units on alert include the 191st Military Police Co. (about 30 soldiers) and the 1919th Contracting Team (four soldiers).

The 818th Engineer Co. (Sapper) is currently deployed to Afghanistan.