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Minnesota National Guard
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Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident

Posted: February 22, 2017 09:59 AM
NOREX youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.

As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.

"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."



To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter

Posted: February 21, 2017 01:25 PM
NOREX FTX HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.

It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.

"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."



Norwegian youth train with Minnesota National Guard

Posted: February 16, 2017 10:52 AM
NOREX Youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard experienced some of Minnesota culture along with focused military style training during the first week of NOREX 2017.

The U.S.--Norway reciprocal Troop Exchange, which began Feb. 9, 2017, annually swaps approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard soldiers as well as youths to experience each other's training, military lifestyle and most importantly, culture.

"It's rewarding interacting with more young people eager to learn about a new lifestyle and culture," said Capt. Brett Farniok, Youth Platoon Officer-in-Charge.



Warmly welcomed, U.S. contingent arrives in Norway for NOREX 44

Posted: February 12, 2017 01:38 PM
NOREX44 CAMP VAERNES, Norway - Following a muster at the 133rd Airlift Wing and an eight-hour overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 100 Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard finally arrived in Norway to conduct the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange on Feb. 9, 2017.

While the U.S.-based Soldiers were warmly greeted by members of the Norwegian Home Guard at Camp Vaernes, a similarly-sized group of Norwegian Home Guard members were received at Camp Ripley Training Center. The arrival of military members from both countries to their host nations formally began the annual exchange, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to become fully-immersed in foreign military and social culture.

"Though I didn't know what to expect before getting here, they have been very welcoming," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Taylor Hanson, a member of the 148th Fighter Wing. "They are making sure we had everything."



Family and Friendship wrapped up in gift for Norwegian exchange

Posted: February 08, 2017 09:31 AM
NOREX quilt CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Careful attention was put into the creation of a hand-made quilt for this year's organizational gift during the 2017 U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange.

Since 1974, the exchange of gifts between the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard has helped to strengthen bonds between the two nations both militarily and culturally.

The exchange itself, being the longest continuously running exchange in the Department of Defense, has been seen as a gift; ensuring the safe and successful execution of American and Norwegian efforts at home as well as overseas.



Soldiers conduct winter vehicle recovery training on Camp Ripley

Posted: February 04, 2017 03:03 PM
Camp Ripley recovery training CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Instructors of the Minnesota National Guard Regional Training Site-Maintenance (RTS-M) led training Jan. 14, 2017, for Advanced Recovery Operations in a winter training environment at Camp Ripley.

"We need to prepare for all weather conditions and train accordingly to meet the increasing demand of National Guard assets being used by their states for weather-related emergencies," said Sgt. 1st Class Kristopher Ambuehl, course instructor.

Eighteen Soldiers from the Maintenance Platoon, 224th Transportation Company out of Austin joined instructors at Camp Ripley for a refresher and familiarization training.



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