Becklund to be second-in-command for N.D. Guard
BISMARCK -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Monday appointed Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund to be the next deputy adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard.Becklund currently serves as executive director for the North Dakota North...
BISMARCK - Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Monday appointed Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Robert Becklund to be the next deputy adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard.
Becklund currently serves as executive director for the North Dakota Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in Grand Forks. Becklund replaces Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, who Dalrymple appointed to serve as the state’s adjutant general last year.
“Brig. Gen. Becklund’s impressive resume of leadership, vision and strategic planning, as well as his breadth of experience, will serve him well as he assumes this important role for the Guard and for our state,” Dalrymple said in a statement.
Becklund will be second in command overseeing more than 4,100 North Dakota Air and Army National Guard men and women, with about 1,100 full-time federal and state employees.
Becklund said Monday he is “humbled and honored” by the appointment, but said it will pull him away from his job at the UAS Test Site, “which I also absolutely love.”
Becklund, who is credited with helping position North Dakota as a leader in UAS technology and innovation, said he anticipates to have some involvement with the Test Site in his new position. The adjutant general’s office is one of the stakeholders on the Northern Plains UAS Authority that was created by the governor.
“I think the work at the Test Site has been really good because of the people that I’m fortunate to work with there,” Becklund said. “I’m sure the (Northern Plains UAS) Authority will pick a good replacement for me and the Test Site will continue to lead the nation.”
Becklund enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1982 as an F-4 flight simulator technician and served in the Air Guard full time for 28 years, including serving as 119th Wing Commander. Becklund also is chief of staff for the North Dakota Air National Guard and served on the U.S. Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Task Force in Washington.
Becklund said he looks forward to working on one of Dohrmann’s goals, which is to boost recruitment.
“There’s incredible opportunities in the National Guard, Army and Air,” Becklund said, citing educational benefits and high-paying jobs.
Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp were among those who congratulated Becklund on his appointment Monday.
“As a trailblazer in North Dakota’s remotely piloted aircraft sector and as a leader in the Happy Hooligans, Brig. Gen. Becklund is a perfect fit for the No. 2 role in the North Dakota National Guard,” said Heitkamp, D-N.D. “Our guardsmen do critical work in protecting our national security, both at home and abroad, and Brig. Gen. Becklund will continue to serve as an invaluable asset to the National Guard in his new role.”