| Another big Iraq deployment for Minnesota Guard
by Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
More than 1,000 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers are headed to Iraq next spring for a new mission This morning National Guard officials will unveil details of the deployment, which will send 1,037 Minnesota Guard troops to Iraq for about a year
Rosemount, Minn - National Guard officials don't hesitate in describing this latest deployment as a big deal
The mission will put the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in charge of tens of thousands of multinational troops, as Iraq begins the task of rebuilding itself
"This is a very large mission for the 34th Infantry Division, and also for the Minnesota National Guard," said Lt Col Kevin Olson, spokesman for the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Olson is among the Soldiers being deployed to Iraq
The number of Soldiers involved in the mission isn't unusual In recent years, the Guard has deployed more than 1,000 Soldiers at one time to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan
What's different about this deployment is the mission itself Minnesota troops will be in command of 16,000 multinational troops working to secure Iraq, Olson said
"Our 34th Infantry Division headquarters will actually command all the coalition military operations in eight of Iraq's 18 provinces That's about one-third of the physical territory in Iraq," said Olson
That territory is in the southern part of Iraq It's about the size of Minnesota, and borders Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran The area is home to 85 million people
The troops being deployed come from all over the state Four hundred and twenty five are part of the Rosemount-based infantry division headquarters, and 350 Soldiers come from an Inver Grove Heights-based special troops battalion
Another 169 are members of a Stillwater-based military police company And the 43 Soldiers who make up the Red Bull Infantry Division band are also being deployed
Past missions in Iraq have had Minnesota troops doing everything from building roads and schools to providing security for bases and military convoys
But this time Minnesota Guard members will be working with others, particularly the Iraq military and police, as they work to secure and rebuild their country, according to Olson
"They'll be working with them, not on the physical on-the-ground security, but larger issues like training systems, operations systems, different leadership tactics and techniques"
More than 17,000 Minnesota Guard troops have been deployed overseas since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001 This deployment is a return trip for one-third of the troops involved
"Most of them, about 67 percent, this is their first deployment," said Olson "But for the rest it's their second, third -- and in the case of 22 people, it's the fourth time they've gone"
Some 2,600 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers returned home in the summer of 2007 after spending about 16 months in Iraq That was four months longer than they anticipated
There are 1,100 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers in Iraq currently Another 50 are serving in Afghanistan
This deployment is expected to last about a year Troops will head to Ft Lewis in Washington for training from February to April Then they'll head to Iraq They're scheduled to return to Minnesota in February of 2010
Article source: http://www.Minnesota.PublicRadio.org
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM
Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."
Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.