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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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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.

148th Fighter Wing hosts STEM program for Duluth-area students

Posted: 2018-06-05  08:52 AM
Starbase Duluth DULUTH, Minn. - Dozens of community and industry leaders passionate about helping children become more engaged in science, technology, engineering and math gathered at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., May 24, 2018, to see what STARBASE Minnesota Duluth is doing for young students in the area.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense youth program that engages students in STEM studies. The program began in 1991, and STARBASE Minnesota was founded in 1993 in St. Paul, which expanded to Duluth in July 2017.

Currently, the school program is open to fifth-grade students, said Charity S. Rupp, the director of STARBASE Minnesota Duluth. The summer camp will serve students in 4-6th grade. Eventually, she hopes the program will expand into STARBASE 2.0 to serve middle school students as an after school program during the academic school year.

Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

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