BISMARCK, ND – A Bismarck-Based National Guard unit might mobilize to Africa.
It received an alert for possible mobilization. If mobilized, the Bismarck-based Detachment 7, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 245th Aviation Regiment, Operational Airlift Support (OSA), would deploy to the Horn of Africa area of operations in support of Central Command (CENTCOM) during summer 2018. Formerly Detachment 42, OSA, the unit was re-designated Sept. 1, 2016.
If mobilized, this would be the unit’s fourth mobilization. Det. 42 served in Afghanistan from Jan 2013 to Nov. 2013 and Sept. 2004 until March 2005; and Djibouti, Africa, from April 2009 to Feb. 2010.
Four Soldiers of the five-Soldier unit have been alerted and if mobilized, will operate aircraft already on location. This small but highly specialized aviation unit operate one C-12 Huron aircraft. Their mission is to provide fixed wing aircraft of cargo and transport of personnel.
“We are proud of our skilled and competent Army aviators. If this unit mobilizes, I am confident of their abilities to successfully accomplish their mission in a professional manner,” said Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general.
“Our Army aviation units boast a superb record of nearly 142,000 hours of accident free flying dating back to 1958.”
The unit is led by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Smette. Almost all of the Soldiers scheduled for this mission have previous overseas deployments. Approximately 60 North Dakota Guard Soldiers are currently serving overseas in Afghanistan with the Devil’s Lake based 136th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion while more than 200 members of Grand Forks-based 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment are assisting with the protection of the airspace in the National Capital Region.
About 22 Happy Hooligan Airmen are currently mobilized in support of CENTCOM with an additional 120 Airmen expected to mobilize this summer.