Hoeven Honors Members of NDNG 957 Engineer Company, Marking Start of Yearlong Deployment to Kuwait

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today honored the service of six members of the North Dakota National Guard’s (NDNG) 957 Engineer Company as they begin a yearlong deployment to Kuwait. The soldiers, who specialize in combat engineer bridging operations, are deploying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and will provide training and technical assistance to other military personnel and allied forces serving in the region. Prior to travelling to Kuwait, the members will undergo final training at Fort Bliss in Texas. The unit previously deployed to Iraq in 2003 and Kosovo in 2009.

“Time and again, the members of the North Dakota National Guard answer the call to serve, whether it’s in response to natural disasters, protecting our nation’s capital or defending our interests overseas,” said Hoeven. “By bringing their expertise to our military forces and allies in Kuwait and Iraq, the members of the 957 Engineer Company will help promote stability in the region and prevent the spread of radicalism. Our Guard are consistently among the finest of our nation’s servicemembers, and we are certain that during the next twelve months, these six soldiers will serve with excellence and distinction. We thank them and look forward to their safe return.” 

Hoeven serves as a member of the Senate committees that oversee appropriations for defense, military construction and veterans affairs. Through these roles, he has worked to provide NDNG members with the support they deserve.

To this end, Hoeven is advancing two pieces of legislation to strengthen benefits for the National Guard and Reserve forces. This includes the Montgomery GI Bill Parity Act, bipartisan legislation Hoeven introduced with Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would enable members of the Guard and Reserve to concurrently use Federal Tuition Assistance programs and GI Bill benefits to fund their education, similar to active duty servicemembers.

Hoeven also helped introduced the TRICARE Reserve Improvement Act with Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). The bipartisan legislation would extend TRICARE Reserve Select eligibility to all Guardsmen and Reservists, including those who are currently ineligible because they are also federal employees who can enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program.