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Charter Flights to Bring Guard Soldiers Home from Duty in Nation's Capital

BISMARCK, N.D. — About 200 members of the North Dakota Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery (1-188th ADA) Regiment will return home Saturday, Feb. 17 to North Dakota after nearly a year of duty in the nation's capital. The Soldiers assisted in the defense of the air space above Washington D.C.

Charter flights will deliver unit members to airports in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks. Thirty-three Soldiers are scheduled to arrive at the Bismarck Airport's mail terminal at 1:50 p.m. At 4:00 p.m., approximately 58 Soldiers will arrive at Hector International Airport. A different charter flight will return 70 Soldiers to the Avflight building (2403 Air Cargo Drive) in Grand Forks. The remaining Soldiers will return home on a myriad of commercial aircraft to other locations.

Senior National Guard leaders including Brig. Gen. Bob Fode, commander of the Army Component for the North Dakota National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Dave Lien, state command sergeant major, will greet the arriving Soldiers.

Media and the public are invited to greet the incoming Soldiers. Please refer to details at the end of this advisory.

Lt. Col. JoDee Aubol, of West Fargo, commands the unit and Command Sgt. Maj. Joshua Entzel, of Bismarck serves as the unit's senior enlisted leader. The unit is headquartered in Grand Forks with units in Bismarck and Fargo. The Soldiers hail from communities across North Dakota, as well as cities in Minnesota, California, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

This was the 11th deployment for the 1-188th ADA since 2004, making it the most-deployed unit in the North Dakota National Guard. The unit supported the Operation Noble Eagle mission once before from July 2013 to April 2014. Prior to its National Capital Region mission, the unit deployed to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission, and air defense Soldiers also have deployed six times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq.

WHO: Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment

WHAT: Return to North Dakota from the National Capital Region mission to three cities


WHAT/WHERE: Thirty-three Soldiers return to Bismarck Airport main terminal. Members of the public meeting Soldiers are asked to wait on the ground floor near the baggage claim area.

WHEN: 1:50 p.m.  Saturday, Feb. 17

WHAT/WHERE: Fifty-eight Soldiers return to Fargo – Hector International Airport (Main Terminal)

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17


WHERE: Seventy Soldiers, Grand Forks–Avflight building (north of main terminal)

2403 Air Cargo Drive

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17


MEDIA: No pre-coordination necessary. Prokopyk (701-220-7277) on site in Bismarck.


The North Dakota National Guard is a trained and highly motivated force of about 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen.  We are always prepared to provide ready units, individuals and equipment in support of our communities, state and nation.  Always ready, always there.

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