HomeNewsArticle Display

Happy Hooligans prepare for Ghana deployment

Fargo, N.D. -- As the 2010 North Dakota National Guard flood operations come to a close, the 119th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron is already in full swing preparing for their next deployment, a two-week humanitarian mission to Africa through the State Partnership Program (SPP).

Since 2004, the North Dakota National Guard has developed a professional relationship with Ghana as part of the Department of Defense's SPP. This program aligns states with partner countries encouraging the development of economic, political and military ties.

"It's exciting for our squadron to go somewhere that we've never been before.
We have had the opportunity to travel to several unique places in the past, like Romania, Caribbean, Germany and Honduras twice, but going to Ghana will be a first for us as a squadron," said Maj. John Gibbs, 119th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron.

Gibbs is part of a three person advance team that will leave Monday. The rest of the group, which consists of about 40 Happy Hooligans, are scheduled to depart April 19.

The North Dakota Airmen, along with a group of Airmen from the 127th Civil Engineer Squadron based out of Michigan, will work together to complete two major construction projects while they're in the country.

The first project will consist of renovating a medical laboratory facility at the Ghanaian Armed Forces 2nd Battalion in Takoradi, a city in the western region of Ghana. The Airmen will replace the roof, construct interior partitions, plaster and paint walls, conduct electrical work, fix the flooring and install air conditioning units and windows in the facility.

The second project will take place at the Acota Academy at Burma Camp, near the capital city of Accra. The Airmen will be tasked with window installation, painting and electrical work.

"Our primary mission as a Civil Engineer Squadron is to be able to support air operations worldwide and these types of deployments help us to remain trained and prepared to do just that," said Gibbs. "Not only will it be an incredible experience, but it will also give us a chance to train in our contingency skills that are vital in our jobs."

Since the inception of SPP, over 180 North Dakota Guardsman, civilian officials, Ghanaian military and civilians have conducted SPP events and workshops to include topics such as disaster management, aviation safety and maintenance, military medical and community health programs, military engineering, public affairs, and leadership.

For more information about this news release, contact Penny Ripperger, 119th Wing public affairs officer, at 701-451-2194.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.