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Minnesota National Guard
55th Civil Support Team Open House

A unique part of the Minnesota National Guard showed off its high tech equipment during an Open House on Friday, Oct 27

The 55th Civil Support Team goes about its business of protecting Minnesota's people and communities as a "first responder" quietly and very effectively The team could be responding to a strange cloud of gas drifting towards a packed Metrodome during a sporting event, a mail envelope leaking an unknown dry powder, or tens of people falling suddenly and violently ill at a political gathering These are times when the CST suddenly shows up and "Dares to go where others fear"

CST members, who must all live within one hour of their unit, race to the scene A portable command unit is likely to arrive on the scene first The Commander, LTC Matthew Snyder, together with local law enforcement officials, quickly assesses the situation He calls in his operations, communications, survey, medical and administrative/logistics team members

After visually evaluating what the threat appears to be, the team quickly gets into the nitty-gritty work of accurately assessing the hazard " which could be chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear in nature Any these substances could be used to kill or incapacitate large numbers of people

The survey team carefully collects samples and performs quick tests to narrow down the identity of the agent or substance The team might wear special "moon suits" to protect themselves from the threat The noxious air sample, liquid, powder or other substance is taken to a mobile Analytical Laboratory System that contains a full suite of analysis equipment, where more detailed tests are run At the same time, working out of their sophisticated communications vehicle, the CST team stays in constant communications with civilian and military authorities

Once the threat is identified, the CST team helps community responders determine the best way to manage a bad situation The decision could be to move all people and animals out of the area, to divert traffic away from the area, or to ensure people stay indoors until the danger is past

Commonly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation gets involved While the CST is concerned about health and safety, resolving the immediate threat, and supporting civil authorities, the FBI collects evidence that will be used to prosecute those responsible for the incident

Unique to the National Guard and mandated by law, the first Civil Support Team came on-board in 2000 Each state and US territory now has at least one Civil Support Team Their mission is to support the Governor and the Incident Commander Because these specialized teams are indispensable to homeland defense, a CST never deploys overseas " they can only operate within US territories

Teams are made up of Army and Air National Guard members who work under control of the State's Governor Team members receive hundreds of hours of high-tech training in order to do their very specialized jobs

The 55th Civil Support Team is collocated on the Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing base near Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport

By: Lt. Col. Ruth Anderson, using information from NGB Public Affairs CST fact sheet
Photo Gallery: Oct. 27, 55th Civil Support Team Open House

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

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