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Minnesota National Guard
National Guard construction booming despite industry woes

In an effort to take some of the politics out of the competition, the federal National Guard, an arm of the Pentagon, asks each state and territory to submit its top two projects for consideration

"They try to pick from that list and spread the money around," Vesely said "What's happening is, Congress sometimes gets in the mix and tries to put their favorite little project in there in addition to these, and that is where it gets crazy sometimes" 

Demand for National Guard facilities is especially strong in Minnesota The state, which has roughly 11,600 National Guard members, has been a leader in National Guard recruiting, and "when you grow the force, you have to grow infrastructure and support facilities for that force," Vesely noted

Planned facilities include the proposed 167,000-square-foot Armed Forces Reserve Center, which would offer training space for National Guard and Army Reserve troops, with offices, classrooms, an assembly hall, shower and locker rooms, arms vaults, electrical and data equipment rooms and other amenities

The State Designer Selection Board is scheduled to conduct interviews for that project on Aug 26; a dozen design firms have expressed interest so far

Two other projects are in the works for Arden Hills: a $15 million armory, currently in the design phase, and a $39 million vehicle maintenance facility The State Designer Selection Board will select an architect for the latter project this fall and it's funded for construction in fiscal year 2011

"That one is a go," Vesely said

In Mankato, the Minnesota National Guard is proposing a $175 million field maintenance shop The 61,500-square-foot building with steel frame or masonry walls will include 13 vehicle bays for maintenance, tool and parts rooms, offices, conference and classrooms, shower and locker rooms and equipments rooms

In early August, the State Designer Selection Board chose Mankato-based Paulson Architects to design the Mankato facility, which will be built next to the existing Mankato Armory Construction and funding schedules are to be determined

Kermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects, said trends in military construction are hard to track because so much is dependent on how much funding comes out of Washington

"It's very hard to predict what is going on in those markets 12, 18, 24 months out "¦ Folks need to track those on a project-by-project basis It's difficult to generalize about what is going to happen there

"We don't track it a lot But certainly that is one of a fairly small and focused areas where there is growth in non-residential activity at present and probably will get through this downturn without any scale-backs"

Besides the new construction, the US Department of Military Affairs says it's scrambling to keep up with maintenance its 18 million square feet of armory space and 26 million square feet of training and housing buildings in the state

On average, those buildings are 42 years old A handful date to the pre-World War I era, and other batches were constructed in the 1950s and 1970s

"We are going to have [some buildings] probably for 100-plus years," Vesely said "Every 20 years you are going to have to put a new roof on it It's not uncommon for us to be putting four or five roofs on a building"

The 2008 Legislature authorized $6 million in deferred maintenance funding for the existing buildings; the deferred maintenance projects are eligible for a 50 percent federal match

Vesely said the department is in the process of bidding five "batched" programs, or groups of deferred maintenance projects Two more batched programs should be going out for bid in the next few weeks, he said

The idea is to focus on a building that has a major need " a bad roof, for example " and take care of all maintenance needs in that building while bringing it up to modern codes One of the goals is to bring buildings up to code for overnight sleeping so they can be used as emergency shelters

Written by Brian Johnson,
Finance and Commerce
August 25, 2008
Article source: http://www.finance-commerce.com

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Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

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