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Minnesota National Guard
Veterans Reintegration Seminar

The Veterans Reintegration Seminar was held at the International Chef's Culinary Center in Burnsville, Minn on Jan 30th

The City of Burnsville, Senator John Doll, the Minnesota National Guard Reintegration Team and Dakota Country Veterans Services held the seminar to educate business owners, employers, religious affiliates, education representatives and community service personnel on the past, current and future needs of Minnesota National Guardsman returning from combat

"It is not just those who have been away who are affected, but it is their friends, families, their employers and churches," remarked Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz "They need us to help and given them support and be their safety net"

"Citizen to warrior is a long process," said Chaplin Joel Severson He explained to his breakout group at the seminar about the six month training period that the citizen Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team went through before deploying to Iraq "Transitioning from warrior to citizens is also a long process," remarked Severson

Col Kevin Gerdes, the Minnesota National Guard Personnel Director, spoke about his personal reintegration process and problems he faced when he returned from Iraq

"The job which I would get up at 6am for and stay as late as I could without getting into trouble, didn't excite me anymore"¦I had to force myself to get out of bed," Col Gerdes explained to listeners at the seminar

Col Gerdes also discussed that five months after returning, his wife finally approached him and explained that he was not the same person that left and they needed to seek help

When active duty military members come back from deployments, they have a network of counselors, doctors and employers that understand their needs are readily available on their base The Guard has members that come back and live in counties throughout the state and the upper Midwest and may not have the appropriate sources available in their town

The Mayor of Burnsville and spouse of a Vietnam War Veteran understands the importance of holding an event that focuses on educating the members of the community about the importance of working with National Guard members coming back from deployment in a warzone "It doesn't matter if you have three or 30 military members coming back from war, it's the right thing to do," said Mayor Kautz

Participants of the seminar ranged from business owners to community service members and found the information given throughout the night beneficial

"All over the metro area we are dealing with returning veterans more and more," said Brian Bye, a police officer from Burnsville "They are having trouble dealing with family members, alcohol or other issues"

"It was a lot of information that I didn't know about especially through the county," said Bye "Like the Veterans Link (VETLINKS), it is more specialized than just us referring them to counseling, they have the background that a veterans would need"

"Military members need to know that their community can be used a resource if they want help," said Mayor Kautz

Breakout sessions that participants could choose from included: employers perspective, families perspective, military kids perspective, clergy perspective and community services St Cloud is expected to hold a similar event in March For more information about the Minnesota National Guard visit http://www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org
Photo Gallery: Jan. 30, Veterans Reintegration Seminar





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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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