State, Local Leaders Visit Guard's Flood Operations

  • Published
  • By By Staff Sgt. Amy Wieser Willson
  • NDNG Public Affairs
State and local leaders in the flood fight came together on April 10 for a briefing on North Dakota National Guard operations. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, Cass County Commission Chairman Darrel Vanyo and North Dakota Adjutant General David Sprynczynatyk visited the North Dakota Air National Guard base in Fargo and stopped to visit with some Guardsmen on dike patrol.

The tour began with an overview at Joint Task Force-East, which is the brain center for the Guard's flood operations.

"(It's the) first time that I have ever seen the operation," Dalrymple said of JTF-E. "I was very impressed with the technology and the degree of expertise that is there. This is what we need when we have a major flood threat like we have in 2011, and I have told everyone, as I have before, that we are so grateful to the Guard for doing this for the people of North Dakota. We have everyone with a lot more piece of mind than they would have if the Guard were not here."

After the tour, the leaders stopped for lunch with Guardsmen at the Air Guard's dining facility before boarding a van and stopping at a couple of locations in north Fargo.

"My compliments to you; great job so far," Dalrymple said to Sprynczynatyk as they stood atop a dike being patrolled by two North Dakota Airmen in the rain.

"It's really the young men and women, our Soldiers and Airmen, that do an outstanding job, as you said, governor," Sprynczynatyk responded. "We have several hundred out here. They're walking these levees back and forth 24 hours a day, and that's all to protect the community, to protect the lives and property of people in Cass County. They're doing a wonderful job. I'm proud of every one of them."

About 500 Guardsmen are currently conducting flood operations in North Dakota, with the vast majority in Cass County.

"We have a fight still ahead of us as we look up the valley, but I've been really impressed with the professionalism (and) the degree of preparation," Dalrymple said. "Everybody knows what they're supposed to be doing and when, and that's the key to getting through this event."