/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Getting to know you, just in case: Law enforcement and emergency responders converge at UMC for first-of-its kind exercise

Wednesday morning at UMC, security personnel spotted some suspicious activity near Robertson Hall, the former student residence hall that's now gutted and vacant A responding officer then observed someone run into the building carrying what looked like a firearm
The Crookston Police Department's Special Response Team was then called to the scene, entered the building and arrested some suspects But while inside, they observed what appeared to be a makeshift chemical laboratory encompassing multiple rooms

Then just about every possible emergency response agency from the area was called, most notably the Minnesota National Guard's 55th Civil Support Team Soon after, the team had a communications command post established in the parking lot behind Robertson Hall and the Kiehle Building Meanwhile, the area was sealed off and a sea of personnel from the Crookston Police Department, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Crookston Fire Department, Great Plains EMS, and Crookston, Polk County and University of Minnesota emergency management departments put appropriate emergency response measures into action

Relax, though, it was all just a drill

The "suspect" with the firearm and the others who were apprehended inside Robertson weren't suspects at all; they were UMC students enrolled in the Natural Resources Aviation Law Enforcement program who were recruited to serve as actors

Overseeing it all was LTC Matt Snyder, commander of the 55th (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Civil Support Team The team brought equipment similar to what they brought the last time they assisted with an emergency response in this area, when UND student Dru Sjodin disappeared in November 2003 With their communication trucks and satellite equipment, the 55th three years ago and again on Wednesday established an Internet linkage, digital mapping capabilities, and had a radio signal that could lock into almost any frequency
After the Special Response Team breached doors in Robertson and used "flash bang" devices to disorient the suspects inside, CPD Chief Tim Motherway said hazardous material teams, wearing full-cover "Class A" suits, determined that the lab was set up to make ricin, a chemical capable of causing massive deaths as a biological weapon

While inspecting the lab's multiple rooms, a member of the haz-mat team activated his personal alert siren, which echoed up and down the halls The siren, Motherway said, meant he was in some type of distress and was incapacitated Soon, he was being rushed down the main hall and outside, to a decontamination area, where his suit was cut off and his condition was assessed

While personnel practiced their decontamination skills nearby, Snyder said he thought the day's drill went very well Similar exercises will be conducted in other parts of the state as well, he said

"I talked to the 55th's regional coordinator about a year ago, and I said we have to do some of these training exercises in other parts of the state, not just the metro area," he said "That's what we're trying to do"

Although Wednesday's exercises focused on a doomsday scenario - biological warfare - Snyder said more than anything it was a chance for emergency responders from many agencies to get to know each other and work together

"The main purpose is simply to see each other, face to face, so if there's a real problem that requires a multi-agency response there will be some familiarity," he said "It also lets the 55th showcase our abilities and what we can bring to a situation"

By Mike Christopherson, Crookston Times


Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.

Article archive