A North Dakota Army National Guard unit has received an alert notification for possible mobilization.
BISMARCK, N.D. - A North Dakota Army National Guard unit has received an alert notification for possible mobilization. About 60 members of the 136th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB), which is based in Devils Lake, North Dakota, were placed in an alert status. The decision to mobilize this unit has not yet occurred, but upon a final decision, an official Department of the Army mobilization order will be published.
If mobilized, the unit will provide area logistical support to U.S. and Coalition forces assigned to the combined joint operational area-Afghanistan early next year.
"The men and women of the 136th CSSB are fully qualified logisticians trained to employ their skills in a myriad of support operations," said Maj. Gen. Alan S. Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. "In addition to the technical competence of our soldiers, the support of their families, friends and employers during this overseas deployment, will help ensure their overall mission success."
The soldiers were notified of their alert status by their leadership. The unit specializes in providing command and control structure for assigned or attached units. The unit can provide sustainment at all three operational levels of support - strategic, operational and tactical - with any configuration of modular units assigned or attached within their command and control structure to achieve a commander's intent.
The unit is led by Lt. Col. Brock Larson, of Bismarck, and Command Sgt. Maj. Darcy Schwind, of Mandan, North Dakota.
Larson is originally from Leeds, N.D. and told the Journal that this is the first time this unit will have been mobilized.
He, himself, just returned to Bismarck in September after being the officer in charge of the Regional Training Institute at Camp Gilbert C. Grafton for the past two years. He said he enjoyed being so close to his hometown and working with the impressive RTI facility.
Soon he and the others of the 136th may be headed overseas.
Larson took time to explain what they will be doing when they get to Afghanistan. He said the 136th will provide the leadership and management oversight for subordinate units that will come together from around the U.S. and will be under their command. Those subordinate units will form a task force that accomplishes the specifics of the mission.
He explained that is what is meant by “modular” units. The 136th will be the headquarters for all the units that deal with the various aspects of the mission, whether that be equipment movement, maintenance and distribution of what is needed to live day-to-day. There is a great deal to manage and Larson will command the unit that will do that.
“We are the headquarters - the other units are specialized to accomplish what is needed while we are there,” Larson explained.
A number of local individuals including another person whose hometown is Leeds and several who are from the Devils Lake area will be accompanying Larson if the unit receives its mobilization orders.
Larson explained that first the unit gets the alert and waits to receive the mobilization orders, which could come at anytime.
The alert is intended to help the soldiers prepare to go once the orders come, if they come.
Soldiers in the unit hail from more than 25 communities across North Dakota, Minnesota, Kentucky and Nevada.
About 10 North Dakota Guardsmen are currently serving overseas, and no other unit is on alert for possible mobilization at this time.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 4,200 soldiers and over 2,600 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. About 70 percent of all members serving today have joined since that time. Currently, nearly 10 North Dakota Guardsmen are mobilized for overseas and domestic service. With a total force of about 4,100 Guardsmen, the North Dakota National Guard remains ready for stateside response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that's more than four times the national average.