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History
Minnesota National Guard
Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX)
The exchange began in 1974 and is the longest-running military exchange partnership between any two nations. The yearly exchange promotes good will and sharpens military readiness between the nations as well as provides opportunities for cultural understanding among its participants.

In 1973, the then Inspector general, Major General Herluf Nygaard invited the Chief of National Guard, Major General Francis S. Greenlief, to come to Norway to visit the Home Guard. During his visit both parties came up with the idea of an exchange, agreeing that such an arrangement would be useful and beneficial. The exchange was to include men from the National Guard in the Midwestern region of the US, an area with powerful Norwegian connections, and youths from the Norwegian Home Guard.

The Generals Greenlief and Nygaard also agreed that the first steps should be taken in the winter of 1974. The intention behind their agreement was to make personnel from the Norwegian Home Guard and the US National Guard familiar with their respective weapons and equipment, organization, operation and exercise systems. Another and even more important factor was the opportunity now offered to young Norwegians to meet young Americans from the National Guard, in particular the Midwestern region with its Norwegian roots and traditions, and to make friends across the Atlantic and strengthen the friendly ties between the US and Norway.

In the evening of Feb. 7, 1974 an American military plane took off from Fornebu airport with 40 Norwegians on board, most of them Home Guard youths, two days after a similar group of young Americans had arrived in Norway. The young Norwegians were bound for Camp Ripley, Minn., north of Minneapolis. The two-week exchange was a great success to both parties, who agreed to continue the success. Also, in 1976 an arrangement was made with a similar group and the exchange was now on its way to becoming a tradition.

Maj. Gen. Chester J. Moeglein, The Adjutant General for the State of Minnesota assigned Col. James Sieben, Plans, Training and Operations Officer, to “make it happen” - and he did. In the winter of 1974, the Norwegian Home Guard and the Minnesota National Guard exchanged nearly 40 Soldiers each to the inaugural program.

In the 1990’s a formal Memorandum of Agreement was established including the participation of 100 Soldiers and Airmen from Minnesota and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers and youth for the exchange.

The benefits to this program have been reflected in duty locations around the world as American and Norwegian Service- member recognize the techniques and procedures used by each other forces and are able to relate the friendships made during the United States / Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange.

2017 marks the 44th anniversary of this Partners for Peace exchange program which has had over 9,700 Soldier’s, Airmen and Home Guard personnel participate.

NorEx Articles

Norex 2017 Magazine.pdf
04/06/2017

Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident
02/22/2017

To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter
02/21/2017

Norwegian youth train with Minnesota National Guard
02/16/2017

Warmly welcomed, U.S. contingent arrives in Norway for NOREX 44
02/12/2017

Family and Friendship wrapped up in gift for Norwegian exchange
02/08/2017

NOREX 44 'Away Team' assembles in preparation for annual exchange
01/11/2017

Norex 2016 Magazine.pdf
09/14/2016

From the Lakes of Minnesota to the Coast of Norway--NOREX 43 Trains By the Sea
07/09/2016

Minnesota National Guard and Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers conduct domestic operations training with local law enforcement
06/28/2016

American meal welcomes warriors
06/22/2016

Norex 2015 Magazine.pdf
04/08/2015

A look at leadership during NOREX
03/06/2015

Norwegian Home Guard gets inter-agency training
02/25/2015

Minnesota, Norwegian service members retrace a successful mission, remember the terrible cost
02/24/2015

Partners in peace recognize friendship in Minnesota
02/18/2015

Camp Ripley to host Norwegian soldiers
02/11/2015

Norex 2014 Magazine.pdf
09/08/2014

The Importance of the American - Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange
07/17/2014

American-Norwegian exchange looks forward to warm partnership
06/20/2014

From the plains of Minnesota to the Mountains of Porsangmoen
06/19/2014

Minnesotan, Norwegian Soldiers Celebrate 40 Years of Partnership
02/28/2013

Maj. Gen. Nash Receives Prominent Norwegian Military Award
02/27/2013

Serving Our Troops Thanks Minnesotans serving in Norway
02/22/2013

Minnesota, Norway Partnership Grows Strong at Camp Ripley
02/20/2013

Norwegian Troop Exchange celebrates with 40th anniversary banquet
02/17/2013

Minnesota Guard Trains in Norwegian Winter
02/17/2013

Gift of Norwegian stone as strong as friendship
02/16/2013

Minnesota Guard Arrives, Trains in Norway
02/15/2013

Norwegian Exchange Farewell Banquet
02/19/2012

39th Annual Norwegian Exchange: More than just Training
02/14/2012

Norwegian Home Guard officers hit the airwaves
02/14/2012

Norwegian Home Guard training at Camp Ripley
02/14/2012

Minnesota Guard arrives in Norway for annual exchange
02/09/2012

Norwegian Home Guard is spending its 39th year with troops at Camp Ripley
02/09/2012

Soldier Exchange creates bonds between Minn. and Norway (video)
02/23/2011

Norwegian Exchange Buddy Weekend
02/21/2011

Norwegian Exchange brings relatives together
02/18/2011

Minnesota Guard trains in bitter Norwegian cold
02/15/2011

Norwegians, Croatians train with U.S. M4 Rifle at Ripley
02/15/2011

An American meal for the Norwegian Exchange
02/15/2011

2010 Norwegian Exchange Program comes to a close
02/22/2010

Minnesota Guard provides local training with a global impact
02/22/2010

Norwegian soldiers tour area
02/21/2010

Norwegian Home Guard officers visit St. Olaf College
02/19/2010

The Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard
02/18/2010

Minnesota National Guard Conducts 37th Annual Norwegian Exchange
02/12/2010

Minnesota National Guard Conducts 37th Annual Norwegian Exchange
02/11/2010

Minnesota Guardsmen Train in Norway for the 36th Year
03/06/2009

Minnesota Guardsmen participate in 37th Annual Reciprocal Troop Exchange
02/23/2009

All American by day, Norwegian by Night
02/17/2009

Soldiers and Airmen conducting training in Norway
02/22/2008

Senior Training Coordinators in Little Falls
02/20/2008

Minnesota National Guard deploy to Norway for 35th Annual Norwegian Exchange
02/20/2008

The 35th Annual Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange Begins
02/20/2008

35th Annual Norwegian Exchange Youth Training
02/17/2008

Minnesota National Guard Prepares for Norwegian Exchange
01/13/2008

A man who helps to make it happen
02/23/2007

Cultural Experience
02/23/2007

Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers Continue Training
02/22/2007

Field Training in Norway
02/21/2007

Minnesota, Norwegian Troop Exchange
02/20/2007

MN National Guard members start training mission in Norway
02/16/2007

Norwegian Exchange Preparation Weekend at Camp Ripley
01/24/2007

Related Resources

The official NOREX Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/MNNGNOREX

NOREX History.pdf

Contact

Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
mn.ng.web@mail.mil

651-282-4410

 
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