VALLEY CITY, N.D.—Within one day of setting up flood duty operations, North Dakota National Guard’s Task Force-West was called to respond with their Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to reinforce a small dam that had a weak spot in the levee system out along the Sheyenne River, and pack sandbags around a second levee that was leaking.
Master Sgt. Scott Brewer, 231st Brigade Support Battalion (BSB), is in charge of the day shift for the QRF and said the group had unloaded about 850 sandbags after two Guardsmen on patrol had called in the damaged levee.
Brewer said sandbags and vehicles are on standby at two different locations to react swiftly to basic emergencies in the area and the crew is on call 24 hours a day.
Brewer participated in the 2009 flood fight and said that the experience helped him with being prepared for this year’s flood. “It helps when you have an idea of what to expect,” Brewer said. A crew of about 14 Soldiers is on call at the Valley City Armory for quick reaction situations in and around the city.
1st Sgt. Kenneth Schuldheisz, 231st BSB, is the non-commissioned officer in charge of operations for Joint Task Force West. Schuldheisz said the set up began Monday to process Soldiers for State Active Duty. “The Soldiers also received a briefing from the Corps of Engineers to make sure the patrols were familiar with the terminology and could communicate what they saw,” Schuldheisz said.
“A lot of people were on flood duty here before so they are familiar with the town and operating procedures, as well as working with the Corps of Engineers.”
The patrols will be monitoring all the levees in the area as well as pumps along the levee system and will call up any deficiencies they find. Schuldheisz says there are 97 Soldiers participating in the flood flight in this area, and many of them volunteered for the detail.
“The community has been great, we always get a good reaction to the Guard and they are always very supportive,” Schuldheisz said.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about a dozen North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while more than 4,000 remain in the state for emergency 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.