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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 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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