/*********************************************** * 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
Minnesota Soldiers prepare Canadian Airmen for upcoming deployment

"I wanted to deploy to Afghanistan," said Capt Sebastien Lapierre-Guay, a Canadian Air Force pilot "The only sure path to get there was to do this"

Lapierre-Guay is referring to the challenging career transition he and more than 60 of his collegues in the Canadian Air Force have recently taken on, and what has led some of them to Minnesota for two weeks of hands-on training in CH-47 Chinook helicopters

After being present in Afghanistan since 2002, a need developed for Canadian Forces to have their own medium-lift helicopter capabilities

"Our government recently decided to buy Chinooks for the Air Force," said Lapierre-Guay "Unfortunately, it's going to take a few years for us to get those Chinooks But meanwhile we still need support in Afghanistan"

Because of this, these Canadian Airmen with thousands of hours spent piloting, engineering, and maintaining other aircrafts, have volunteered to undergo months of condensed training to learn as much as they could about the Chinook

Master Cpl Ray Zivkow said he wants to do whatever he can to ensure that the ground forces in Afghanistan have the air support they need

"When I found out we were going over with Chinooks, I figured it's my part I could do to save one or two extra convoys," said Zivkow, a flight engineer with 26 years in the Canadian Air Force

With deployment just around the corner in early 2009, real-world scenarios and in-depth training is imperative to preparing these Airmen for what lies ahead

Soldiers in Minnesota National Guard's 2nd General Support Avaition Battalion 211th Aviation play a large role in Canada's mission by training the Airmen in an operation called "Canadian Seasoning"

"The name of the program is "˜Seasoning' "  to get these guys some flight time in what they'll actually be experiencing," explained Chief Warrant Officer Paul Adamson

Having spent some time in primary flight training to become familiarized with the Chinook, the Airmen are excited to be putting into practice many of the operational training tasks they will be utilizing in theater This includes anything from loading and unloading cargo to combat maneuvering

They are also learning how to use an electronic data manager which not only allows them to see a moving map display, but also allows them to communicate with a tactical operations center so if they get en route mission changes, they know how to respond

"In primary flight training it was basically like we're doing circuits," said Capt Nicholas Noel de Tilly, a Canadian Air Force pilot "Here we're learning how to fly the aircraft more instinctively and how to feel it"

Cpl Chris Sample, flight engineer in the Canadian Air Force, agreed

"When you come to a place like this they say, "˜We're going to land on a pinnacle We're going to do an internal load,'" Sample said  "You get to do the stuff you're going to be doing"

Adamson credits the success of the training to not only the instructors, but to the seasoned Airmen who are being taught

"We kind of get the best of both worlds," Adamson said "We get guys who want to learn Chinooks and they're eager students, but they've also got over a thousand hours of helicopter time"¦These guys want to know real, specific, Chinook-world stuff, and they can relate it to helicopters that they've flown before"

It isn't only flight-specific lessons the Airmen are taking away from this training

"I'm kind of like a walking sponge right now," said Zivkow of his time spent working with Minnesota Soldiers "It's not just the flying, it's not just the mechanics I've never been [to Afghanistan] So I'm asking people who have been there, "˜Okay, on the other side of the house, what should I expect?'"
The Soldiers are happy to offer their advice After all, it wasn't long ago they were in the same situation

"When we started flying Chinooks and had to deploy in six months, our learning curve was really steep also," explained Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Jacobs, one of the instructors who deployed with the 2-211 to Iraq  "All those questions we asked of other units before we left - we're trying to pass on the knowledge to these guys so that they don't learn the lessons the hard way  Not to mention, we're all fighting the Global War on Terrorism"

Although the training doesn't end here, the instructors and students feel that this training is an important stepping stone to prepare the Airmen for their upcoming deployment

"That's really the goal of what we're trying to do here " To get these guys to the next step so they can say, "˜You know this feels similar, I think I've seen something like this before' That's going to be key," Adamson said

"Without these guys it's basically like throwing you in a pool of water without any floats on," Zivkow explained "If you don't know how to swim, you're not going to make it" "This training will have a tremendous impact," said Lapierre-Guay "We cannot stress this enough We're really grateful for that

By Pfc Stephanie Cassinos,
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
September 26, 2008

Minnesota Soldiers prepare Canadian Airmen for upcoming deployment - Low-Res

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.

Article archive