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Military News (Jan. 26, 2011)

Air Force Airman Maria L. Brekkestran graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

She is the daughter of Lisa Brekkestran of West Fargo, and Gary Brekkestran of Horace. Brekkestran graduated in 2010 from West Fargo High School.

Mark L. Topp, engineer operations officer for the North Dakota Army National Guard's 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Fargo, was promoted to the rank of major. Topp was honored by Col. Lannie D. Runck, brigade commander, during a Dec. 3 promotion ceremony at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center.

Topp is responsible for overseeing the operations of five engineer units in eastern North Dakota, including the 188th Engineer (Vertical) Company in Wahpeton and Oakes; the 815th Engineer (Horizontal) Company in Lisbon, Edgeley, Wishek and Jamestown; the 817th Engineer (Sapper) Company in Jamestown; the 835th Concrete Team in Carrington; and the 897th Asphalt Team in Carrington.

Topp and his wife, Stephanie, have two children and live in West Fargo.