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Army Aviators to be Honored at Open House on Eve of Mission to Africa

BISMARCK, N.D. – Six North Dakota Army National Guard aviators with the Bismarck-based Detachment 7 (Det. 7), Company C, 2nd Battalion, 245th Aviation Regiment, Operational Airlift Support (OSA), will be honored at a pre-deployment open house event on Friday, Aug. 17 at the C-12 building, Army Aviation Support Facility, south of the Bismarck Airport. The Soldiers are mobilizing for an anticipated 9-month mission to the Horn of Africa area of operations in support of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Formerly known as Det. 42, OSA, a portion of the unit was re-designated as Det. 7 on Sept. 1, 2016. This is the unit's fourth mobilization. Det. 42 served in Afghanistan from January 2013 to November 2013 and September 2004 until March 2005; and Djibouti, Africa, from April 2009 to February 2010.

This small but highly specialized aviation unit operates one C-12 Huron aircraft. Its mission is to provide fixed-wing aircraft for cargo and transport of personnel. The Soldiers will operate aircraft already on location and will serve alongside members of the Michigan Army National Guard.

The unit will be led by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Smette during the first half of the mission, followed by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Zachary Putz for the second half of the rotation. They will depart in September and initially will report to Fort Bliss, Texas, for pre-mobilization training before traveling overseas.

This open house is an informal send-off event where families, friends and members of the media can greet the deploying Soldiers and wish them good luck for a successful mission. The event is free and open to the public.

WHO: Soldiers assigned to Det. 7, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 245th Aviation Regiment

WHAT: Pre-deployment Open House event

WHEN: 4 to 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, 2018

WHERE: C-12 building at the Army Aviation Support Facility, south of the Bismarck Airport, 3410 Airway Ave.

MEDIA: Media is welcome. No pre-coordination needed.

               Bill Prokopyk (701-220-7277) will be on site to assist.



Currently, about 45 North Dakota Guardsmen are mobilized for stateside and overseas missions.

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