To the Citizens of Minnesota:
This past year was characterized by fast-paced changes at home and abroad, and the Soldiers and Airmen of your Minnesota National Guard have proven that they are committed to answering the call of our state and nation.
Globally, the relevance and competence of the National Guard as a military force was validated in 2014, even with the continued drawdown of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The emergence of ISIL triggered a new military effort, Operation Inherent Resolve, and the Airmen of the 133rd Airlift Wing and Soldiers of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade expanded their missions overseas to support U.S. efforts to counter this new threat.
A dramatic outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa prompted a unified “whole of government” response to stop the disease from spreading to the U.S. The Minnesota National Guard, the Minnesota Department of Health and numerous other state agencies were convened a the direction of Governor Mark Dayton to ensure that state government has a solid response plan to contain the virus if it is detected in Minnesota.
In order to slow the spread of Ebola at its source, Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing were directed by the Department of Defense to deploy to Liberia in 2015 to provide command and control for U.S. forces sustaining Operation United Assistance, the military effort supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development.
At home in Minnesota, citizen-Soldiers and Airmen assisted local law enforcement during blizzards and floods in 2014. We provided the governor of Minnesota a unique and versatile force that could immediately apply federal military resources to aid citizens in need.
The Minnesota National Guard’s responses to the state and nation were completed in an environment of diminishing fiscal resources. Our men and women in uniform continue to prove that the Guard is a tremendous value for the taxpayers, and will continue to take every opportunity to be responsible stewards of our resources.
Looking ahead to 2015, we will leverage our capabilities and focus on Vigilant Guard, an exercise in August that will further enhance the Minnesota National Guard’s ability to train, partner and coordinate with local, state and federal agencies.
I’m proud of the Soldiers and Airmen that make up your Minnesota National Guard. They are imbued with values of professionalism, dedication and determination, thus, the Minnesota National Guard’s capability to respond to community needs, fiscal challenges and societal change is unmatched. With them, I can assure you that we remain “always ready.”
Major General Richard C. Nash
Minnesota National Guard
The Adjutant General