285th Aviation Regiment Prepares for Deployment - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

285th Aviation Regiment Prepares for Deployment


The words 'soldiers deploying' often bring sadness to families with a loved one in the military.

Aviators with the North Dakota Army National Guard are preparing for just that in the coming months.


"What kind of helicopter do you want to fly? A Chinook. And what kind of helicopter do you want to fly? An Apache," says Cooper, Tonya, and Jaxon Sigl.

Jaxon and Cooper want to be just like their dad Jonathan when they grow up.

Jonathan is a maintenance test pilot in the North Dakota Army National Guard.

He and nearly 40 soldiers with the 285th Aviation Regiment will be deploying soon for a nine month peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

"They're sad to see me go and they support me and it's nice to know that other people support them and your friends and family are their to support your family," says Jonathan Sigl, Maintenance Test Pilot, ND Army National Guard.

Under the leadership of Captain Russ Sundby and 1st Sergeant Jim Lind, the unit will operate Black Hawk helicopters to provide air transport for U.S. and NATO forces.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to show what North Dakota aviation has to offer the world and in the support of this great mission," says Capt. Russ Sundby, ND Army National Guard

The community gathers for a send-off ceremony in honor of the aviators.

You can see the love these soldiers have for their families as they make the most of the time they have left before leaving.

"Are we going to miss him when we go camping next summer? What are some things that you're going to miss the most? What does dad like to take you to do in the summertime? Hunting and fishing," says Tonya and Jaxon.

"They're excited for me to get back home. We're always making those plans hey when daddy gets back from Kosovo you can have a bb gun, we can go hunting, you know, and things like that so it's really nice to be able to give them things to look forward to," says Sigl.

Even though Jonathan will be away for nearly a year, he knows that his family, just like him, will have to strength to soldier on.

In Bismarck for KX News, I'm Stephanie Scheurer.

The 285th unit will be deploying the end of November.

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