HomeNewsArticle Display

09-093 Flood Feature: On the Ground and in the Air, the Guard is Everywhere

VALLEY CITY, N.D. -- During the flooding in North Dakota this spring, the National Guard has not only had a heavy presence on the ground, but in the air.

Capt. Doug A. Larsen, commander of the 2-285th Aviation Company, said that the air support during the flood battle has been critical, but only part of the whole picture.

"We are part of the team," Larsen said. "There have been times when the air support has absolutely been critical, because of the mobility that we have, but we are there to supplement the guys on the ground."

Missions taken on by the aerial support section have included transporting personnel and supplies around the region, placing 1-ton sandbags, reconnaissance, search and rescue and river assault missions, such as spreading salt on the rivers.

Both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft have been used during missions the past few weeks, with rotary aircraft taking on 204 missions around the area, logging in a total of 537 flight hours, and fixed-wing aircraft going on 40 missions totaling 46 flight hours. At its peak, the air support section had 40 aircraft ready and taking missions.

2nd Lt. Edward Crary, a C-21 Learjet pilot with the 177th Airlift Squadron, said he and other Airmen flew missions transporting Guard leadership, such as Gov. John Hoeven and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, to different areas in the state so that they could see the situations firsthand and accurately make decisions during the flood fight.

"It is an as-needed mission," Crary said.

Aircraft supplied to support these missions have come from several places around the region. Aviation assets were supplied not only from the North Dakota Nation Guard, but also from Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Iowa National Guard units. Additional aircraft have come from the active Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Several types of helicopters have been used, including UH-60 Black Hawks, CH-47 Chinooks, HH-65 Dolphins and OH-58 Kiowas.

Larsen said that air support will stay in the fight until it's over and continue to run missions as long as they are needed.


Since the terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 2,800 Soldiers and more than 1,600 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In recent weeks, nearly 2,000 North Dakota National Guardsmen - with support of about 400 additional Soldiers and Airmen from six other states - have been mobilized for current flood fighting missions all across North Dakota. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, we continue to have sufficient forces available to provide support for state and national emergencies and homeland defense.

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.