Friday, February 16, 2024 - 05:07pm


AT THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER Gov. Doug Burgum and Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, today visited soldiers from the Jamestown-based 817th Engineer Company at the U.S.-Mexico border, thanking them for supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) efforts to secure the border. 

The 817th deployed to the southwest border on federal status in early November for what’s expected to be a yearlong mission. Burgum, who serves as commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard, received briefings from Guard officials and visited with members of the Jamestown-based unit about their mission in support of CBP border security operations.

The 817th’s mission, under the direction of U.S. Northern Command and Joint Task Force North, is to assist CBP by providing detection and monitoring support. Approximately 125 service members are providing mission enhancing support to CBP’s border security operations to enable CBP agents to conduct their law enforcement mission more efficiently.

“The well-trained soldiers from the 817th Engineer Company are making a real difference in efforts to enhance national security at the southwest border. And what we learned today is that they have not only taken on this mission, they’ve excelled at it, setting the bar high for future missions,” Burgum said. “These soldiers are detecting tens of thousands of attempted illegal crossings, and in the process they’re helping to protect our country, state and communities and save lives from illegal activity including drug and human trafficking. On behalf of the citizens of North Dakota and a grateful nation, we thank them for their incredible service and wish them a safe and successful mission.”

“The professionalism of our North Dakota National Guard soldiers serving at the southwest border is second to none,” Dohrmann said. “Today we heard from task force leadership that the 817th Engineer Company is a model for how to support Customs and Border Protection, and I’m incredibly proud of their efforts to strengthen our national security.”

Last June, the Secretary of Defense approved a request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security extending Department of Defense (DOD) assistance in support of CBP’s southern border security mission through fiscal year 2024. The action memo authorizes the mobilization of up to 2,500 service members, including National Guardsmen in a Title 10 duty status, to provide command and control and enablers, for mobile surveillance support; remote video detection and camera monitoring support; information analysis support; and 13,200 flight hours for light rotary-wing aircraft and small uncrewed aerial system (UAS) support. 

Due to security concerns, the military requested that the location of the 817th not be publicized.