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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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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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