This Week In S.D. National Guard History

In recognition of the South Dakota National Guard's 150 years of service to the state and nation from 1862-2012, the SDNG will be publishing significant dates in the history of the organization all year long for the media's use in your publications or broadcasts.

For more information on these events, please contact the SDNG Historian, CW5 Duke Doering at (605) 737-6581, or e-mail duke.doering@us.army.mil.

On this date in SDNG history:

March 13, 1991

Iraq, Operation Desert Storm: The 730th Medical Company was sent back into Iraq on March 13 to support the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) and provide medical aid to Iraqi civilians in what became known as "Operation Care." This was their second entry into Iraq in the past month.

The 730th Medical Company's 2nd Platoon was attached in support of the 2nd ARC, and charged through the breach with them from Saudi Arabia into Iraq on Feb. 23. Traveling 70 miles on the first day, the730th Soldiers treated five Americans and 50 Iraqi soldiers. The first and third platoons moved into Iraq the next day, with the first ACR.

After a busy and remarkable two weeks, the unit pulled out of Iraq and was sent back to Saudi Arabia on March 6. This was short-lived, however, and upon to their return for "Operation Care" the unit treated more than 1,000 civilians and 186 U.S. military personnel.

The medics also treated numerous babies and children for dehydration and illness. Many of these children lived because of the 730th medics.

Colonel R.I. Porter, commander of the 730th Medical Company said, "Be assured that every one of these people is like my own! There is not another medical unit in the country that looks and functions as well as ours."

Information from Dakota's Desert Storm, story by Lt. Col. Larry Wilcox (Ret.).

March 14, 1973

Rapid City: Two well-known South Dakota National Guard brothers were once again serving in the same unit. Capt. Clarence C. (Buzz) Knapp transferred from the 109th Engineer Battalion, Sturgis, and reunited with his younger brother, 1st Sgt. James F. Knapp, as members of the 109th Engineer Group.

Knapp, a full-time technician, went on to have a successful career. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel as the executive officer of the 109th Engineer Group. From there, he transferred to state headquarters and was promoted to colonel as the state aviation officer. He then went to become the plans, operations, and training officer before being appointed chief of staff on Aug. 1, 1987.

Knapp was appointed assistant adjutant general and promoted to the rank ofbrigadier general on Sept. 9, 1991. He retired on July 28, 1992.

Younger brother Jim Knapp also enjoyed a successful career, and he was appointed to the rank of warrant officer on March 28, 1973, with duty as the 109th Engineer Group personnel officer.

When the new SIDPERS branch was formed at state headquarters, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Knapp was put in charge of that branch of automated personnel recording. As a full-time AGR Soldier, Jim Knapp built the SIDPERS system "from the ground up." He retired on May 9, 1989.

March 15, 1918

World War 1, France: 147thField Artillery troops at Saumur, France, were visited and inspected by the secretary of war, the Honorable Newton D. Baker and the commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Force, Gen. John J. Pershing.

The 147th Field Artillery had received the 75mm field guns, with limbers and caissons, as well a sufficient number of horses. They had been put in charge of the artillery school at Saumur. Evidently, the success of this school drew the attention of the Army, which brought about the visit from these distinguished leaders.

March 16, 2008

Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom: Detachment 48, Operation Support Airlift Command, located at Rapid City, was flying two specially equipped C-12R airplanes on haul missions for Task Force Charger, part of the 101st Airborne Division.

Detachment Commander Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jerry Duba stated, "A typical mission was hauling five passengers and as much cargo as we could fit in the plane."

During the 2008 deployment, the unit was primarily stationed in Afghanistan but also operated out of eight different countries in the area: Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and Bahrain.

The pilots' main issues were possible surface-to-air missiles, the airports had only one runway, and it was not unusual to have winds that exceeded the crosswind limitations.

The five pilots, CW5 Duba, CW4 Mike Huss, CW4 William Groves, CW4 Wayne Walker and CW2 Jose Rodriguez received the Air Medal for their efforts.

The detachment sergeant, Ryan Williamson, and operations sergeant, Marie Geranen, were awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

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