Hoeven, Heitkamp, Cramer to Host Reception for 188th AIR Defense Artillery Regiment

Delegation Honors Regiment's Service in Defense of Nation’s Capital

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer today are hosting a reception for the North Dakota National Guard’s (NDNG) 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment in honor of their service in defending the nation’s capital. This is the second reception hosted by the delegation for the 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, the first being held in observance of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In April 2013, the NDNG Regiment began their yearlong deployment to the nation’s capital in support of Operation Noble Eagle, serving as part of the integrated air defense system designed to protect the airspace around the National Capitol Region. The soldiers focus on Avenger Air Defense System, Sentinel radar, National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System and Joint Air Defense Operation Center areas. This is the unit’s 10th deployment in less than a decade.

“It is an honor and a privilege to once again be able to meet with and honor those North Dakota National Guard members who protect us every day,” the delegation said. “It has been a great comfort to know that our security has been in your capable hands this past year, and we are grateful for your selfless service. You are a shining example of all the brave men and women who serve. We are so very proud of each and every one of you, we thank you, and God Bless you.”

The delegation also extended a special thank you to the seven members of the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment who recently came to the assistance a local car crash victim after witnessing the accident while returning to their quarters after duty. The delegation commended the members for their quick thinking and commitment to service, both when in and out of uniform, noting that their actions reflect the trademark character that has long distinguished the North Dakota National Guard and its soldiers. These seven members included: Maj. Walyn Vannurden, of Mohall; 1st Lt. Kerry Fredrich, of Bismarck; Sgt. Scott Douglas, of Paynesville, Minn.; Spc. Mark Kubat, of Oakdale, Minn.; Spc. Jesse Goeser, of Hatton; Spc. Leo Hughes, of Bismarck; and Spc. Tyler Needham, of Devils Lake.