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Emergency Commission approves more federal fund spending for National Guard bridge training facility

North Dakota’s Emergency Commission has approved an increase in the federal fund spending authority for the North Dakota National Guard.

The increase is just under $3.2 million. The money is going toward a bridge training facility at Camp Grafton.

The Legislature originally okayed $6 million in federal funds for the facility. And the Emergency Commission authorized another $515,000 in federal funds to design the project. But the project bid was $9.7 million.

"This goes into our engineer training center up at Camp Grafton," Adjutant General Alan Dohrmann told the Commission. "For those of you who aren't familiar, we train engineers from around the United States and from all components of the military."

Dohrmann said it will be one of two locations for the bridge training. The other is at Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri.

"This will be a great addition to the training center at Camp Grafton," Dohrmann said. "It also acts as an economic driver, because it increases the value of Camp Grafton as a training destination for units outside the state of North Dakota."

As to the actual bridge for the training, Dohrmann said the Army hasn’t yet picked it out.

"This bridge is literally replacing bridges you might recognize from World War Two movies," Dohrmann said. "It's a long-overdue piece of equipment."

The Commission unanimously okayed the extra $3.2 million. It will now be considered by the Legislature’s Budget Section.

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