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Forum staff reports, Published November 22 2010

North Dakota Army National Guard sees new leader take command

FARGO — Col. Lannie Runck assumed command of the North Dakota Army National Guard’s only deployable brigade-level military unit during a change of command ceremony here on Sunday.

The following is from a news release issued by the National Guard:

Runck, Fargo, officially accepted responsibility of the Fargo-based 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) from Brig. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, Bismarck, during the ceremony at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center. Both officers recently returned from a yearlong mobilization to Kosovo, where Runck served as chief of staff and Dohrmann as commander of the U.S.-led Multinational Battle Group-East, part of NATO’s peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.

“I couldn’t be more proud to take command of a unit such as this,” Runck told an assembled group of Soldiers and guests. “But this day isn’t about me; it’s about you.”

Runck said the MEB has been in transition ever since it was stood up as a unit only a few short years ago. When it started, many of its members were already deployed to Iraq under a different command, then, not long afterward, the unit began preparing for its peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

“It was a privilege for me to lead such a dedicated, mission-oriented group of Soldiers,” Dohrmann said. “Their performance in Kosovo was outstanding, and I know there are great things ahead for them and their new commander as they continue to transition this brigade and develop it into one of the best maneuver enhancement brigades in the National Guard.”

Now, finally home, the 141st has a chance to organize its personnel, receive new equipment and prepare for future missions in North Dakota and elsewhere.

Nearly 200 Soldiers comprise the 141st MEB, which oversees units throughout eastern North Dakota. About 1,600 Soldiers who attend drills in Carrington, Wishek, Jamestown, Edgeley, Oakes, Wahpeton, Grand Forks, Valley City and Lisbon fall under the 141st.

A maneuver enhancement brigade provides operational and sustainment support for subordinate battalions and other units in wartime and during peacetime operations, such as what took place in Kosovo. The unit also provides the state with invaluable emergency response capabilities and equipment.