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Minnesota National Guard
Vikings Salute the Troops

As part of the celebration of Veterans Day, The Minnesota Vikings hosted a "Salute to the Troops" Military Appreciation Day Nov 12, 2006 against the Green Bay Packers at home During the game, Service members from all branches participated in engagements with the two teams, as well as fans to honor military members for their service and sacrifice

Minnesota National Guardsmen, as well as US Army Soldiers, US Marines, US Sailors, US Coast Guards, members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and family members participated in several aspects of the game that engaged them directly with the fans and players

The 34th Infantry Division "Red Bull" Band marched and played several musical pieces during the pre-game, and half time

The music was a joint-force operation, in that the Army Guard "Red Bull" Band, directed by Warrant Officer Trygve Skaar, provided music, and Air Guard Staff Sgt Amy Pearson, of the 148th Fighter Wing sang the National Anthem

"Getting to sing in front of 64,000 people is a great honor for my unit, as well as for myself," said Staff Sgt Pearson "This is a great experience"

"Red Bull" Soldiers of the 634th Military Intelligence Battalion, who recently returned from deployment to Iraq and the members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, marched on the field during half time They were honored by approximately 64,000 Green Bay and Minnesota fans

The Minnesota National Guard worked directly with the Metrodome's Dome Vision to allow deployed Soldiers Sgt Seth and Krista Steinbach to engage family members, players and fans through a satellite connection The deployed Soldiers were seen on the jumbo screen, saying hello to family members, thanking the audience for support and cheering for their team

As Green Bay and Minnesota has a long history of rivalry, Service members cheered for both the Vikings and the Packers

During the second half, The Vikings cheerleading squad wore uniforms displaying the five military branches The uniforms were designed by a Senior Airman who is a Vikings cheerleader in the civilian world and an Airman in the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing

The game ended with an increasingly improving relationship between the Minnesota National Guard and the Minnesota Vikings, and a stadium full of fans who saw a good football game and were able to honor Veterans for Veterans Day

By Spc Joe Roos

View the Vikings Salute to the Troops photo gallery.
View the Vikings Salute to the Troops video.
Listen to the NorthStar GUARD Online Salute to the Troops podcast.

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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

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