Weather Forces Late Start for Guard Water Training - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Weather Forces Late Start for Guard Water Training

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While North Dakota National Guard members have mostly wrapped up flood patrol in the Eastern part of the State, Bismarck-Mandan area soldiers are participating in important training of a different nature along the Missouri River.

The 957th Engineer Company took to the River at Kimball Bottoms to conduct rafting and bridging operations.  The training enables bridges to be built virtually anywhere, anytime for use by U.S. forces or civilians in the event a bridge is not available or has been destroyed.  This year's training was about a month behind schedule due to weather, but KX got a close-up look of what it's like for soldiers working on the water.

"Well, this year, the big difference is the time of year where we're getting on the water to train.  We're a very technical unit; meaning, we need a lot of time to train and this year, unlike others, the thaw lasted pretty late in the season.  So, we're a little later than we usually are, but we're making up for now that this weekend.  With our particular skill set, we can deploy to any region for any type of scenario, because our bridges are both land and water based, so there's not much we cannot bridge just on the distance," says Sergeant First Class Matthew Mitzel, North Dakota Army National Guard.

The Guard will be executing their shore-to-shore bridge building exercises on the Missouri River next month. 

 

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