North Dakota National Guard celebrates Fargo facilities

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

FARGO — The North Dakota National Guard celebrated two facilities in Fargo today by commemorating the beginning of construction for one and later celebrating the completion of another.

This morning, the Happy Hooligans of the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for a consolidated operations facility at the Fargo Air Base. The $17.5 million project intended for use by the 119th Operations Group, is scheduled for construction to begin this fall, with an expected completion in 2023.

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general for the N.D. National Guard (left of flag pole) leads a group of dignitaries during a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the dedication of the N.D. National Guard’s Fargo Readiness Center, Fargo, N.D., August 24, 2021. From left, Shawn Dobberstein, Executive Director at Fargo Airport Authority; Mary Chrisy, representative for Congressman Kelly Armstrong; U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer; U.S. Sen. John Hoeven; Delton Steele, honorary commander for the N.D. National Guard and chair of the N.D. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR); Dohrmann, Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, N.D. National Guard, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander, N.D Army National Guard; Col. Paul Harron, Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, senior enlisted leader, N.D. National Guard; and Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Heck, state command sergeant major for the N.D. Army National Guard.

Gov. Doug Burgum, commander and chief of the N.D. National Guard, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general for the N.D. National Guard, Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander along with Shawn Dobberstein, executive director, Fargo Airport Authority wielded shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking.

This afternoon, the North Dakota Army National Guard celebrated the completion of the Fargo Readiness Center by hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony officially dedicating the facility. Among the participants in this ceremony were Hoeven, Cramer, Dohrmann, Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, deputy adjutant general, N.D. National Guard, Brig. Gen. Leo Ryan, commander, N.D Army National Guard, Dobberstein, and Delton Steele, honorary commander for the N.D. National Guard and chair of the N.D. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

From left, Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, adjutant general for the N.D. National Guard; U.S. Sen. John Hoeven; Gov. Doug Burgum, commander and chief of the N.D. National Guard; U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer; Shawn Dobberstein, Executive Director at Fargo Airport Authority; and Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander participate in the ceremonial ground breaking for the North Dakota Air National Guard’s new consolidated operations facility, Fargo Air National Guard base, Fargo, N.D., August 24, 2021.

“These projects will ensure that North Dakota’s Air and Army National Guard forces have the best facilities and latest technology they need to maintain readiness, conduct training and protect freedom at home and abroad,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to our state’s congressional delegation for securing the federal funding for these facilities and to our North Dakota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen for their unwavering commitment to being ‘Always Ready, Always There.’”

Located west of the existing Fargo Armed Forces Reserve building in Fargo, this facility is the new home of the N.D. National Guard’s 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 191st Military Police Company, and Company D, 1st Battalion, 112th Aviation Regiment.  With the groundbreaking on August 14, 2019, this facility took two years to build.

“It’s a great day in the North Dakota National Guard when we can celebrate the initiation and dedication of much-needed facilities like these,” said Dohrmann who rendered remarks at both ceremonies. These facilities are important to our Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen in support of their continued successful completion of our state and federal missions.”

The final cost of the Fargo Readiness Center facility is approximately $29 million and consists of a 96,000 square foot readiness center and a 59,000 square foot unheated vehicle storage building.  The facility provides a greater capability to conduct virtual exercises and facilitates improved command and control of units and personnel during responses to state emergencies.  It also includes a modern fitness training area with a quarter-mile running track and a helicopter pad.