40 Guardsmen Patrolling Levees, Responding to Emergencies in Town by Sheyenne River
LISBON, N.D. — North Dakota National Guard heavy equipment operators from the 815th Engineer Company (Horizontal), 2nd Detachment, put their skills to use here yesterday using the Hydraulic Excavator, or HYEX, to place one-ton sandbags on the waterfront to stop a dike from eroding into the river.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Hebl, Lamoure, N.D., noncommissioned officer in charge of the quick reaction force, sent a crew to respond to a request by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stabilize a portion of the levee that was being affected by strong water currents from the Sheyenne River.
“We’re glad to get out and put our skills to work to help support the community,” Hebl said.
The HYEX, a track-mounted backhoe, was used because its arm can reach out and place the one-ton sandbags on the riverside of the levee.
The Lisbon Fire Department filled the bags and transported them to the location.
About 40 North Dakota Guardsmen are aiding the flood fight in Lisbon. The 191st Military Police Company also has contributed some of its Soldiers to the effort here. The role of the National Guard is patrolling dikes and serving as a quick reaction force in cases of emergency.
Sgt. Michael Strom, Valley City, is a heavy construction equipment operator for the Guard and responded to the call.
“We know we need to do our duty.” Strom said about being put on state active duty for flood operations.
Strom works for the engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson as a civil engineer and said he’s received a great deal of learning experiences in both the civilian world and at his job with the National Guard.
“There’s a lot of knowledge that crosses over between the two,” he said.
That knowledge, and that of his fellow Soldiers, is now focused on helping Lisbon residents for as long as needed.
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.
Video: B-roll video will be available this afternoon to view and download from www.dvidshub.net.
Photos: These and other high-resolution photos to accompany this release are available on Flickr. Navigate to the photo set titled “Guard Responds in Lisbon – Flood 2011” — http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndguard/sets/72157626414640885/.