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  • September 26, 2023 11:28 | Anonymous

    By Janell Pederson, NDAC Licensing Specialist

    As the licensing specialist for the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, one of my responsibilities is to collect aircraft excise tax and registration fees from aircraft owners. Let me tell you…it’s not always fun collecting tax. Who wants to pay more for an item they just spent hard earned money on?In my line of work… I have found that there is a grand total of ‘zero’ aircraft owners who ‘want’ to pay tax. Believe me, I’ve heard it all, some just use more irate voices than others.

    My job is necessary, however, as these funds are utilized to provide infrastructure grants so our communities may continue to maintain and develop the very airports that we all enjoy. Very similarly to the tax and registration that is paid to the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for vehicle purchases for road development and maintenance, these funds serve the same purpose, but for our 89 public-use airports.  

    The Spring 2023 Fly-ND Quarterly introduced you to Hyral “Buddy” Walker Jr (pages 24-25.) I wanted to share a story of how the tax collector and the chaplain developed a friendship, after taxes were paid.

    I was introduced to Buddy because…I taxed him.  I reached out to him to let him know that a tax and registration was due on his aircraft and he really didn’t like that idea. We then communicated back and forth many times…. since we all know that it isn’t fun paying taxes. After understanding where North Dakota receives its funding to maintain our airports and realizing that there were no loopholes to be found, though several attempts were made, Buddy came around and has become a very good friend to us. Buddy is now heading back to Texas after retiring from the U.S. Air Force and being stationed as a Chaplain in Minot, ND. Before he left, he flew to Bismarck to meet with us in person. He has even been able to partake in the North Dakota Passport Program, where has been able to see first-hand some of the different airports that our state has to offer. We wish Buddy Blessings & Blue Skies!

    I now have an autographed issue of the Quarterly addressed to “My Favorite Tax Collector” – and you can find it framed at my desk when you come to visit!

  • September 26, 2023 11:20 | Anonymous

    Rodney Schaaf of Bowman, ND, was recently appointed by Governor Burgum to serve on the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission for a five-year appointment, which became effective on July 1, 2023.

    Rodney has been an active member of the North Dakota aviation community throughout his life. He became a pilot in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s, where his first assignment sent him to the Grand Forks Air Base as a KC-135 flight crew member. Following his honorable discharge in 1978, Rodney was hired as a pilot for Delta Air Lines and had a successful career until his retirement in 2004. 

    In 2007, Rodney was appointed to serve on the Bowman County Airport Authority, and he has acted as the chairman of the board for over a decade. In this role, he was instrumental in the planning, design, and construction of the new Bowman Regional Airport, which was opened to the public in 2015. 

    Rodney was also inducted into the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame in March 2023.

    “We are excited to welcome Rodney within his new role, where he will provide guidance and oversight to our work at the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission,” stated Executive Director, Kyle Wanner.

    His experience within the field of aviation will complement our work to grow airport infrastructure and aeronautical services throughout the state of North Dakota.

  • September 26, 2023 10:59 | Anonymous

    Aeronautics Commissioner Jay B. Lindquist has announced that he did not seek re-appointment for his position on the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

    Jay B. was originally appointed as an Aeronautics Commissioner in 1993. He has served in this position for the past 30 years and was appointed by multiple governors for six consecutive five-year terms. He is also the president of Air Dakota Flite, a full service, fixed base operator (FBO) and has a strong aerial applicator background, as he has been crop spraying for over 50 years. He has also served as the Manager of the Adams County Municipal Airport, in Hettinger, ND, for over 40 years. 

    Jay B. was inducted into the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2012 and has been a tireless advocate for aviation throughout his lifetime. We want to thank him for all of his leadership and efforts in assisting the state of North Dakota with developing a strong, efficient, and safe aviation transportation system. 

    Thanks, Jay B!

  • September 26, 2023 10:51 | Anonymous

    More than 800 students from Bismarck/Mandan and the surrounding communities came to the Bismarck Airport to learn about many career opportunities. Thank you to all of the presenters! 

  • August 28, 2023 13:57 | Anonymous

    Here at the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC), we are continually searching for new ways to share the aviation industry with students. Over the past 18 months, with the help of a workforce development grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a collaboration of University of North Dakota Aerospace, the NDAC, and the North Dakota Aviation Association we have been sharing the industry with teachers, through a variety of professional development opportunities. In early June, we were able to bring approximately 30 teachers to the Minneapolis, MN, area to showcase career opportunities that could be available to students at a national level. 

    We had a great cohort of teachers, from a variety of backgrounds and subject areas, including everything from kindergarten teachers to school counselors. I believe our goal of showing them the opportunities they never knew existed was successful. The teachers learned a little about how the aviation industry functions, and a lot about the career opportunities in the industry. 

    Our experience included a visit to Alexandria, MN, airport to discuss opportunities at a General Aviation (GA) airport and included a tour of the airport and discussion with air medical pilots and flight nurses. Once in the Twin Cities, we visited Sun Country Airlines and Delta Air Lines. While a major topic of conversation (and tours) was centered around maintenance technicians, we learned about all of the jobs in the airline industry. We also brought the group to the St. Paul Downtown Airport and South St. Paul Airport to show some opportunities at other GA airports. 

    For many teachers, a highlight was our day touring the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP.) We learned about the many opportunities for an airport career, seeing firsthand the need for painters, electricians, plumbers, firefighters, biologists, caterers, equipment operators, and more. In addition, the operations crew at MSP brought our charter bus right out on the runway and allowed the group some time to watch airplanes and talk about what goes on to keep the airport functioning on a day-to-day basis.                                        

    Our goal was for these teachers to have knowledge of opportunities in the industry and share them with their students. We received feedback that there were many career fields in aviation that these teachers and counselors didn’t previously know were available. We hope many students will be exposed to the aviation industry through the educators’ experiences!

  • August 28, 2023 13:31 | Anonymous

    UND Aerospace welcomes 42 airplanes, 100 competitors to North Dakota

    For the first time in its 46-year history, the all-women annual Air Race Classic will begin its takeoff from the Grand Forks International Airport, an event hosted by UND’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences that will include a UND racing team.

    The 2,684-statute-mile competition across 12 states begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, with 42 teams and 100 racers taking off from the Grand Forks airport. The competition ends Friday, June 23, at the Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport in Homestead, Fla.

    But before the racers leave Grand Forks on their way to Florida, they will be treated to a variety of events designed to make the most of their North Dakota experience. Beth Bjerke, aviation professor and associate dean, and Liz Mislan, a UND aviation graduate and former ARC racer, are co-chairs of the event.

    “We have been preparing to host this start for over 5 years, so we are going to make it one for the racers to remember!” Bjerke said. “We realize that for many racers this will be their first time in the state of North Dakota, so we have been busy planning some very unique North Dakotan/Midwestern themed events for the start.”

    In 2017, the ARC began discussions with UND about hosting the race start, which led to a Grand Forks start being scheduled for 2020. However, when the COVID pandemic shut down UND and the event, it was later rescheduled for 2023.

    “In a way, I’m glad it’s happening now because the aviation industry is stronger,” Bjerke said. “We have been fortunate to secure national corporate sponsors, as well as local Grand Forks organizations. The support for the race to start in Grand Forks has been tremendous.”

    Years in the making

    Bjerke emphasized the enormous logistics involved in welcoming more than 40 aircraft to the Grand Forks International Airport and UND’s aviation training facilities at the airport.

    “We are fortunate to have an amazing ARC Start Committee with Courtney Olson, Heather Schuler, Paula Bruse, Angie Panzer and Debbie Landeis, who have been planning and preparing for this event for years, as well as a large number of student and staff volunteers ready and eager to welcome the racers to UND and the state of North Dakota.”

    Bjerke also noted that UND is welcoming 17 collegiate teams to the state and will provide North Dakota hospitality, even though the schools are competing in the same arena.

    Members of UND’s 2023 ARC team are: pilot Grace Heron, a senior from Tampa, Fla., majoring in aviation safety, commercial aviation and sociology; co-pilot Sadie Blace, a sophomore from Mankato, Minn., majoring in commercial aviation and aviation management; navigator Tracy Mitchell, a sophomore from Billings, Mont., majoring in commercial aviation and unmanned aircraft systems; and ground coordinator Ashley Almquist, a freshman from Bay Village, Ohio, majoring in commercial aviation and aviation safety.

    Besides UND, the other 17 college and university teams represented are Auburn University, Indiana State University, Kent State, Kansas State University-Polytechnic, LeTourneau University, Lewis University, Liberty University, Middle Tennessee State University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Western Michigan University.

    UND Aerospace is partnering with the Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau and working with corporate sponsors and local businesses to provide a series of unique events before the race officially gets underway. A website providing information on these events is available here. Racers are expected to begin arriving this Wednesday.

    Members of UND’s 2023 Air Race Classic team from left to right are navigator Tracy Mitchell, a sophomore from Billings, Mont., majoring in commercial aviation and unmanned aircraft systems; pilot Grace Heron, a senior from Tampa, Fla., majoring in aviation safety, commercial aviation and sociology; ground coordinator Ashley Almquist, a freshman from Bay Village, Ohio, majoring in commercial aviation and aviation safety; and co-pilot Sadie Blace, a sophomore from Mankato, Minn., majoring in commercial aviation and aviation management. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

    A woman’s race

    The first event – called “Let’s Explore Aerospace!” – will be from 12:45 to 4 p.m. Friday on the UND campus at the UND Aerospace facilities. Middle-school-aged students can engage in hands-on activities that include the virtual reality flight lab, an air traffic control simulation and training to fly small drones. This event is currently full.

    Also, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, “Soaring Through Downtown Grand Forks” offers members of the visiting race teams and the public an opportunity to experience downtown restaurants and businesses in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Businesses will be associated with historic women pilots who flew in the early days of the ARC.

    Florence Klingensmith, North Dakota’s first licensed woman pilot, raised money from Fargo businesses to purchase her first airplane. She was among the pioneering women pilots in the early years of aviation and air racing. She died in 1933 during an air race in Chicago. Photo courtesy Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County.

    On Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m., “North Dakota Welcomes Ya!” will be held in the Gorecki Alumni Center on the UND Campus. UND President Andy Armacost will give welcoming remarks. Guests can mingle to music while sampling a variety of favorite North Dakota foods.

    The Takeoff Banquet for ARC racers will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday in the Hilton Garden Inn and will feature a number of speakers who have been associated with the race and its historic past.

    Extolling the virtues of a favorite regional tradition, on Monday, June 19, the North Dakota Museum of Art on UND’s campus will host the “Midwestern Goodbye.” It offers an enjoyable evening of refreshments, appetizers and art.

    Takeoff day on Tuesday, June 20, begins with a breakfast for the flying teams from 6 to 6:30 a.m. at the Grand Forks International Airport in UND Flight Operations. At 8 a.m., more than 40 aircraft will begin taking off at 30-second intervals for the race. This event, expected to last about 45 minutes, is open to the public. Special parking areas will be designated at the airport. 

    Taking off from Grand Forks

    After takeoff, the field of aircraft will spread out as faster planes move to the head of the pack. Intermediate stops along the flight route are in Mankato, Minn., Ottumwa, Iowa, Hastings, Neb., Ponca City, Okla., Sulphur Springs, Texas, Jonesboro, Ark., Pell City, Ala., and Cross City, Fla.

    Although the race ends Friday, June 23, in Homestead, Fla., the final results won’t be announced until Sunday, June 25, during the ARC banquet in Homestead.

    The oldest race of its kind in the nation, the Air Race Classic traces its roots to the 1929 Women’s Air Derby (also known as the Powder Puff Derby), in which Amelia Earhart and 19 other female pilots raced from Santa Monica, Calif., to Cleveland, Ohio.

    This year’s ARC celebrates the 94th anniversary of the historic competition, marking the beginning of women’s air racing in the United States. Today, the ARC is considered the epicenter of women’s air racing, the ultimate test of piloting skill and aviation decision-making for female pilots of all ages and from all walks of life.

    The 42 teams of two or three pilots will have four days to complete the course, flying normally aspirated, piston-powered airplanes in visual flight conditions during daylight hours. Pilots and co-pilots must have at least a private pilot certificate and a minimum of 100 hours as pilot-in-command to qualify for the race; one of them must have at least 500 hours as pilot-in-command or a current instrument rating. If they wish, the pilot and co-pilot may bring along a teammate, who must hold at least a student pilot certificate.

    Because each plane receives a unique handicap, teams are racing against their own best time, not against one another. This creates a level playing field, enabling slower planes to compete against faster aircraft on an equal basis. Teams strategize to play the elements, holding out for better weather or seeking more favorable winds, to beat their handicap by the greatest margin.

    Official standings aren’t determined until after the last team has crossed the finish line, which means the last arrival at the Florida terminus could be the race winner.

    The 46th Annual Air Classic Race will cover a 2,400-mile-long flight route from Grand Forks, N.D., to Homestead, Fla.

  • August 28, 2023 13:22 | Anonymous

    The current pilot shortage has posed a significant challenge to the aviation industry worldwide. Flight cancellations, route reductions, and higher ticket prices are being experienced by the public and these concerns are receiving significant attention. The private sector has responded by implementing several short-term strategies, which include offering signing bonuses, enhancing training programs, fostering collaborations with flight schools, and expanding recruitment efforts. While these initiatives have helped to alleviate the immediate impact of the shortage, a comprehensive national long-term strategy is necessary to address the root causes and further sustain the industry’s growth.

    To tackle the workforce shortage effectively, a collective proactive approach is required. Solutions must focus on promoting aviation careers to younger generations and efforts should be done to reduce barriers to entry. It is also crucial to showcase the wide range of opportunities beyond piloting, which includes but is not limited to careers in airport management, aircraft mechanics, unmanned aircraft operations, and airport engineering/planning. Scholarships and educational programs can also help make aviation training more affordable and accessible. Additionally, finding ways to streamline regulatory requirements without compromising safety would also help to encourage aspiring aviators to join the profession.

    Aviation education has been a priority to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission (NDAC) and we are proud of our collaborative efforts with the North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) to significantly grow aviation education initiatives throughout the state, over the last decade. The NDAC has provided funding to assist with multiple educational programming events, such as the Bismarck Aviation Career Day, which draws in over 900 fifth graders to learn about aviation careers. The Commission also supports internships at commercial service airports and funds educational programming at aviation museums. Furthermore, the Flight Training Assistance Program helps to provide transportation costs of flight instructors to rural airports.

    The NDAC has also played a pivotal role in developing aviation-related programming for high school students. The Kindred High School is one example of a recent recipient of grant funding, which will assist with starting up a new aviation program. Presently, seven different cities throughout the state provide aviation-specific high school coursework. Additionally, all North Dakota students have an opportunity to access aviation curriculum through the state’s distance education program. Overall, these efforts have been very successful, as we have seen tremendous growth in the number of aviation students at both the high school and collegiate levels.

    This past biennium, a partnership was also formed between NDAC, NDAA, and the University of North Dakota to receive a federal workforce development grant. This has allowed for new professional development opportunities for our high school teachers and to further promote aviation curriculum within the school systems.

    Efforts have also been successful to develop one-time and endowed scholarship funds for students pursuing a career in aviation. An annual Aviation Career Expo, which occurs each October and alternates between the Fargo and Minot Aviation Museums, has also been very successful. This event has been drawing approximately 150 high school students from all over North Dakota, who are specifically interested in aviation careers.

    North Dakota’s proactive initiatives can serve as an inspiration for other states and regions that are also facing workforce shortages. A national-level effort is imperative to tackle the issue and ensure a sustainable supply of skilled aviation professionals. Our office will continue to collaborate with industry groups and organizations as we facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices with the goal of promoting effective strategies nationwide.

    We deeply appreciate the contributions of all the dedicated volunteers and prwofessionals who have worked to actively promote aviation careers. We also wholeheartedly encourage each one of you to explore opportunities to give back to the industry. Together, let us continue fostering a passion for aviation and work to inspire the next generation to explore the different career fields that aviation has to offer.

  • August 28, 2023 13:00 | Anonymous

    Hello to all of you once again. I hope this issue of the Quarterly finds you doing well and enjoying a beautiful North Dakota summer! 

    I have had the great pleasure these past few months to get out and enjoy summer flying in North Dakota. What a wonderful time of year to fly! Aside from dodging a few thunderstorms and showers here and there, seeing all the beautiful green fields and golf courses (my favorite) sure is a lot of fun! I even let my daughter take the controls of the Cessna 172 to see how it’s done. After a few roller coaster ups and downs, she got it figured out! Another aviator in the making?!

    I would like to take this time for a thank you and a welcome. As of July 1, 2023, we have our annual changes to the members of the Board of Directors. As such, I would like to extend a huge thank you to our out-going board member, Ron Lundquist. Ron has shared his wisdom, knowledge, and expertise with the group and our organization in countless ways over the past two years, and we sure will miss having him on the board. Thank you again, Ron, it was great working with you.

    Returning to the board for another two-year term is Jake Werner. He joined our board in 2020, and was re-elected this March for his second term. Thanks for throwing your hat in the ring again, and welcome back, Jake!

    Filling out the second open seat on the board is Devin Cole. Devin was elected to the board in March for his first two-year term. We’re excited to have Devin join us and know he will bring a great perspective to the board. Welcome, Devin!

    In other NDAA Board news, we are currently seeking to fill the Executive Director role. Our previously hired Executive Director accepted a full-time position, which would have made it difficult to fill this capacity as well. We wish her nothing but the best in her new role! With that, if you or anyone you know has an interest in being the Executive Director, please contact myself or someone else on the board. 

    Aside from this, we are continuing to make plans for the 2024 Fly-ND Conference in Grand Forks, ND. We’ve got a great team heading up this effort, and it’s sure to be a conference you will not want to miss! 

    I hope the remaining summer months bring you all great times with family and friends, and not too many sunburns! 

    Take Care, Justin 

  • August 24, 2023 12:50 | Anonymous

    Thanks to all who joined in the fun for Summerfest 2023 on June 17, in Bowman, ND.

    On June 17, 2023, we held our annual North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) Fly-ND Summerfest. This year, the event was hosted in beautiful Bowman, ND, to coincide with the Bottom Line Aviation & Bowman Airport Fly-In, as well as a celebration for Rodney Schaaf, the 2023 North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame recipient. We gathered to celebrate summer and aviation, as well as fundraise for aviation scholarships – and we did just that, raising over $8,500 for scholarships while participating in the Corporate Air Golf Tournament. Twenty golfers participated and the “home team” took first place – congratulations to Team Bowman for the first-place win, to Will Bellamy on the Longest Drive, and Shae Helling on Closest to the Pin! 

    Thank you to all who attended, participated, and volunteered at NDAA Summerfest 2023. Thank you to the Bowman Airport and Bottom Line Aviation for hosting the event and providing the delicious food, and thank you to our 2023 sponsors: Corporate Air, Overland Aviation, Western Edge Aviation, Coach Truck & Tractor, Kotaco Fuels, and Avfuel. We thank you for your continued support that made this event possible. 

    Tanner Overland, NDAA Vice Chair


  • June 27, 2023 12:58 | Anonymous

    The North Dakota Air National Guard’s (NDANG), 119th Wing, known as the “Happy Hooligans,” recognized the organization’s top officers, noncommissioned officers and Airmen of the Year on March 4, during a ceremony at the Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo, N.D. (National Guard story by Senior Master Sgt. Mike Knodle, 119th Wing Public Affairs)

    Airmen were nominated for the awards based on their military and civic service throughout 2022. The Outstanding Airman Program annually recognizes officers and enlisted members for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements.

    Field Grade Officer of the Year: Maj. Daniel Sly, 119th Mission Support Group.

    Maj. Daniel Sly joined the NDANG in 1999 and commands the 119th Communications Flight. His 2022 accomplishments include helping build a mobile STARLINK communications kit which significantly improved communications in support of domestic operations in remote areas of North Dakota. He led the design, engineering and installation of a vastly improved communications infrastructure to include a core fiber optic mesh network that is more robust, resilient and faster than legacy systems. Sly served as an expert panel member for two separate Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce cyber events, serving to educate small business and community leaders on cyber network security. He led the design and creation of a research and development network now used by the U.S. Coast Guard to test improved search and rescue capabilities. Sly volunteers as a coach for Moorhead Youth Football and the Moorhead Crush Softball program. He also serves as a volunteer at the Christ the King Church in Moorhead leading the Call Committee.

    Company Grade Officer of the Year: 1st Lt. Cody Chick, 119th Mission Support Group.

    1st Lt. Cody Chick joined the NDANG in 2009 and serves as the operations officer for the 219th Security Forces Squadron in Minot, N.D. Prior to his current role, Chick served as a fire team leader, training instructor, training noncommissioned officer in charge, and support operations officer.

    His 2022 accomplishments include successfully leading 80 Airmen in performing 24/7 nuclear security operations for Global Strike Command at Minot Air Force Base. Chick is the only ANG member certified as a Nuclear Convoy Commander and only one of six in the entire U.S. Air Force. During this time, he commanded 25 nuclear weapon convoys and securely transferred over $672M worth of nuclear war assets over a combined distance of 1,700 miles. He participated in the 119th Wing Strategic Planning Team, developing goals and objectives to support the Wing’s priorities. He volunteers his time and home as a host family sponsor for the Minot State University Women’s Hockey Team, providing a home and support for non-local women to play college hockey and get an education.

    Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Senior Master Sgt. Erica Carruth, 119th Mission Support Group.

    Senior Master Sgt. Erica Carruth joined the NDANG in 2005, and currently serves as the flight chief, Military Personnel Flight in the 119th Force Support Squadron.

    Her major 2022 accomplishments include deploying as the personnel support for contingency operations team chief at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. There he led the collaboration to create the first ever 119th Wing Strategic Plan and developed an online platform for wing personnelists to track training. Additionally, she was recognized as a superior performer by the 119th Wing Inspector General for her efforts in creating intricate scenarios for a mass casualty exercise. Carruth recently became a certified hot yoga instructor and teaches fitness classes at Inspire Health and Wellness. She is a member of the Harwood American Legion and the Enlisted Association. She is also an active member of her parish, Holy Spirit Catholic church, where she volunteers with her husband. Her most memorable NDANG moment was in August 2021 when she was deployed to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait and directly supported the citizens and military members that were evacuating Afghanistan. She led a Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team that worked around the clock to track and aid Noncombatant Evacuation Operations.

    Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Master Sgt. Taylor Wolford, 119th Operations Group.

    Master Sgt. Taylor Wolford joined the NDANG in 2009 and currently serves as an operations intelligence flight chief in the 178th Attack Squadron. His major 2022 accomplishments include expanding relationships with the U.S. Special Operations Forces community by facilitating joint exercises and providing a Live Virtual Constructive training environment. This led to the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures integrating MQ-9 operations into the joint domain. Wolford has been deployed “in-garrison” supporting numerous contingency operations since 2013. He is honored to serve as an intelligence flight chief and relishes the role of “taking care of Airmen.” Taylor volunteers for the Salvation Army and serves as a coach for Tri-City Youth Soccer.

    Sornsin, 119th Mission Support Group.

    Senior Airman Maria Sornsin joined the NDANG in 2018, and currently serves as a services journeyman in the 119th Civil Engineer Squadron.

    Her major 2022 accomplishments include identifying 425 safety hazards resulting in the creation of 1,700 work orders for corrective action. Her efforts improved the quality of life for 7,200 joint coalition warfighters and earned her the U.S. Air Force Central Top Performer award. In July 2022, her humanitarianism took her to Medjugorje, Bosnia where she engaged in activities that provided shelter, necessary medical care, pharmaceutical treatment, nourishment, supplies and critical winter clothing. These efforts directly contributed to the health and wellness of the local community. Finally, Sornsin supported the movement of 825 total force students within 12 different career fields, from 25 visiting teams at the 119th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Regional Training Site. Her most memorable 119th Wing moment was a deployment for training to Yokota Air Force Base, Japan.

    “We are extremely proud of these Airmen and their continued dedication to excellence and service to our state and nation,” said Col. Mitch Johnson, 119th Wing commander. “Their contributions to the N.D. Air National Guard ensure that the Happy Hooligans’ outstanding reputation is maintained and enhanced throughout the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense.”

    Family of the Year 

    Master Sgt. Taylor Wolford, left, and Master Sgt. Laura Wolford and daughter were recognized as Family of the Year at the annual North Dakota Airmen of Year Banquet, March 4, 2023, Fargo, N.D. (National Guard photo by Senior Airman Christa Anderson, 119th Wing Public Affairs)

    Article reprinted with permission from the North Dakota National Guard.

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North Dakota Aviation Association

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Bismarck, ND 58502

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