1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division
The Bloomington-based 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, consists of eight major subordinate commands. More than 5,500 Soldiers make up the brigade's combined arms, cavalry, artillery, engineer and brigade support battalions, constituting more than half of the Minnesota Army National Guard's total force structure.
There are eight major support commands that now make up the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team: Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Bloomington; 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion in Bloomington; 134th Brigade Support Battalion at Camp Ripley; 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment in Brainerd; 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry in Duluth; 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery in New Ulm; 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry in Moorhead and 1st Battalion, 145th Armor Regiment of the Ohio Army National Guard. The Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry is a Minnesota Army National Guard Battalion which administratively falls under the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team but is in an aligned for training relationship with the Iowa Army National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division.
In June, the brigade will participate in the 34th ID warfighter exercise as a subordinate unit. During the division's warfighter, the 1st ABCT will also conduct a command post exercise to maintain the proficiency of the brigade staff.
Two units from the brigade will conduct force-on-force operations in support of XCTC exercises this year. The 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry will travel to Texas in August to train with the 30th ABCT and the brigade's Ohio-based 1st Battalion, 145th Armor Regiment will travel to Idaho to train with the 116th ABCT in June.
The 1-194 Armor and 2-136 Infantry will focus on platoon-level maneuver validation and crew live fire at Camp Ripley Training Center this summer with integrated fires support from the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery.
The 2-135 Infantry will participate in a warfighter exercise in April with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, and conduct squad-level live fire and platoon maneuver training.
Coming off of a highly-successful rotation at the National Training Center in 2016, the 1/34th ABCT built on its momentum by participating in several overseas training events in 2017 to ensure the brigade continues to be tested and ready when called upon.
In June, the brigade headquarters and 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, participated in the Saber Strike exercise, an annual, U.S.-led exercise conducted in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The exercise brought together seven nations and four service branches to test their ability to work together as one cohesive NATO enhanced forward presence battle group. It also strengthened the Minnesota's state partnership with Croatia as U.S. and Croatian service members trained side-by-side with a common goal of promoting interoperability and deterring international threats.
Transporting the unit's vehicles overseas required a significant logistical operation involving a week-long rail load at Camp Ripley. The hard work continued overseas when the vehicles arrived at port in Lithuania. Within just 72 hours the Soldiers moved all of the vehicles from the port to the training area without incident. Upon completion of the exercise, the Soldiers coordinated the transport of a company's-worth of equipment to Sweden for use in a future exercise by one of their sister units and the return and reset of the remaining equipment.
The mission served to validate that a National Guard armored brigade could quickly and successfully forward deploy to the European theater and that the infrastructure exists to support such a massive operation.
In June, Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry returned. In June, Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry returned from a nine-month peacekeeping mission to the Sinai Peninsula. The unit worked in support of the Multinational Force and Observers to enforce the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
A company from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled to Sweden in September to take part in Exercise Aurora 17. The cooperative, national defense training exercise organized by the Swedish Armed Forces was the first of its kind to be conducted in the country in over 20 years. The Soldiers worked with the armed forces of France, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to simulate an opponent, challenging the Swedish defense.
Two company teams from the 1-194th traveled to Fort Hood, Texas, in 2017 to serve as opposing forces for the Tennessee National Guard's 278th ABCT's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities exercise.
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company
- 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion
- 134th Brigade Support Battalion
- 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment
- 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry
- 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery
- 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry
- 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment