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History
Minnesota National Guard
Cavity Lake Wildfire

One of the largest wildfires in Minnesota history erupted on July 14th as a result of a lightening strike This fire would become a large draw on resources from across the state, nation and even Canada During the course of the fire eight helicopters, two CL-215's, two CL-415 from Canada, and two Air Attack planes were utilized to control and extinguish the fire
Included in the eight helicopters that were utilized on the fire was a UH-60A Black Hawk from the 2 Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment from the Minnesota Army National Guard The Army Guard was not alone in their efforts to assist in the fight though; they were joined by the Air National Guard Refueler's from the 148th Fighter Wing took on the challenge of keeping the Black Hawk fueled and the 148th Communications Flight was also tasked with providing support for the Black Hawk mission so they could report back to the Joint Operations Center in St Paul

Governor Tim Pawlenty called two Black Hawk crews to state active duty on July 15th along with some support staff to handle command and control The two Black Hawk's were first dispatched to Bemidji, MN where they worked as back fill until paper work was completed that would allow a State resource to be used on a Federal wildfire They did not sit long however while in Bemidji they two were sent out on two fires

On July 18th one of the Black Hawk's left Bemidji and flew to Grand Marais where it joined efforts to bring under control the Cavity Lake fire At this time two refuelers Master Sgt Jim Davern and Technical Sgt Michael Anderson from Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants(POL) were sent from Duluth to Grand Marais The two of them would fuel the Black Hawk and other helicopters that were being tasked with missions for the wildfire Master Sgt Davern was replaced by Senior Airman Eric Soderstrom when he returned to the 148th Fighter Wing During their mission at the Seagull Lake Guard Station on the Gunflint Trail, which ended on July 31st, the fuel point was set up for the helicopters the refuelers would disperse 6992 gallons of fuel

A team of four personnel from the 148th Communications Flight; Master Sgt Brian Druar, Technical Sgt Tom Walden, Senior Airman Jeff Lanska and Mr Berry Bell; took the Communication Flight's Air Reserve Component - Advanced Communications Element (ARC-ACE)deployable trailer and setup satellite telephone and satellite internet capabilities to provide a means of communication for the personnel in the field to provide status reports back to the commanders in St Paul As of August 14th the Cavity Lake fire had burned nearly 32,000 acres and cost $10,940,000 both numbers will continue to increase until the fire is totally contained

By Staff Sgt Kenneth Toole
July 18, 2006




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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



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