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Minnesota National Guard
From Soldier to Stylist: Woman Relishes Return to Civilian Life


PHOTO CREDIT: Times photos by Kimm Anderson, kanderson@stcloudti

Stylist Jennifer Yurczyk cuts Karen Nielsen's hair Friday at Michelle Kenric Hair Studio & Spa in Sartell Yurczyk recently returned from a two-year deployment in Iraq with the Minnesota National Guard

SARTELL - In two plastic tubs at Jennifer Yurczyk's home are all the encouraging thoughts that kept her going while serving in Iraq


While she was away on a two-year deployment with the Minnesota National Guard, her coworkers at Michelle Kenric Hair Studi & Spa collected cards for her with messages from clients who came to the Sartell salon

"Words can't describe what that meant to me," she said

Now Yurczyk is thanking those people in person since she started back at work earlier this month She returned home from Iraq in July and said returning to the salon is "wonderful"

"I've made my rounds," she said of seeing family and friends again She's looking forward to seeing her old clients again

While in Iraq Yurczyk, 30, worked in the mess hall She said she was a small part of something larger, but she likes that in the salon she can make a big difference to her clients

Yurczyk, who gave haircuts while deployed, said being away taught her that life is too short and how important it is for her clients to take time for themselves

"I want them to have everything," she said

The transition from warrior to citizen has gone much better than Yurczyk said she thought it would Her family and friends have been supportive

She also has a friend with whom she served, and the two have been together for about half of their weekends since they've been home

For the first time since she's been home, Yurczyk spent Saturday with the Soldiers she served with They had their 30-day reintegration meeting in Bloomington

Yurczyk has been in the Minnesota National Guard for 13 years and decided not to re-enlist after her deployment She said she's happy to be home with her husband Tim and celebrate their upcoming 10-year anniversary

"I'm done," she said "I'm ready to move on"

By Kari Petrie, St Cloud Times
Article source: http://www.sctimes.com





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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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