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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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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

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