Members of the 817th called to pipeline protest
Some members of the Jamestown-based 817th Engineering Company (Sapper) are aiding law enforcement efforts at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in Morton County, according to Maj. Amber Balken, public information officer for the North Dakota Nat...
Some members of the Jamestown-based 817th Engineering Company (Sapper) are aiding law enforcement efforts at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in Morton County, according to Maj. Amber Balken, public information officer for the North Dakota National Guard.
Balken did not specify the number of National Guardsmen from the 817th being mobilized.
"The governor directed us to bring in more guardsmen," she said. "We tapped seven other units that haven't provided support."
Gov. Jack Dalrymple activated 100 National Guard soldiers on Sept. 8 to provide support to law enforcement officers who are dealing with pipeline protesters.
"We do have guard members supporting law enforcement today," said Jeff Zent, spokesperson for Dalrymple, on Monday. "Gen. (Alan) Dohrmann called on other units to assist. The 817 is one of the units supporting."
Balken said some of the original 100 guard members called in September will be relieved to return to jobs and school, although most will stay on.
"We're asking for the whole state to help so some others can come off duty," Balken said.
The guard members on duty have manned traffic checkpoints and served in other duties not requiring law enforcement licensing or training, Balken said.
"They are there in support of law enforcement," she said. "This is still a law enforcement-led mission."
Balken did not specify the number of guardsmen called up this week. How long they could serve is unknown at this time, she said.