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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guardsmen participate in 37th Annual Reciprocal Troop Exchange

Written by SGT Dajon Schafer

The Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard are participating in the 36th Annual Reciprocal Troop Exchange 105 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers departed on 12 February 2009 for two weeks of winter training operations at Vaernes Training Facility, Norway

At the same time, 115 Soldiers of the Norwegian Home Guard arrived at Camp Ripley to train with the Minnesota National Guard The Home Guard is Norway's equivalent of the US National Guard

The exchange began in 1974 and is the longest-running military exchange partnership between any two nations The yearly exchange promotes good will and sharpens military readiness between the nations as well as provides opportunities for cultural understanding among its participants

While in Norway, the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will conduct winter operations training with the Norwegian Home Guard They will participate in a field training exercise where they will ski into the mountains and sleep in tents and snow shelters They will also conduct weapons familiarization with their Norwegian trainers The Soldiers and Airmen will also have an opportunity to experience some Norwegian culture as they visit some of the sights of Norway and participate in a "Buddy Weekend," where they will stay with a Norwegian family

The Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers are staying at Camp Ripley, Minnesota National Guard's premier training center The Home Guard is conducting winter training operations with the Minnesota National Guard and is participating in multiple training exercises In addition, the Norwegians will stay with a Minnesota family and get the opportunity to experience some local culture

Read more about the guardsmen experience's and see photo gallery by clicking the links below

The Norwegian Exchange Program



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