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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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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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