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History
Minnesota National Guard
All American by day, Norwegian by Night

As part of the 36th Annual Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange program at Camp Ripley, Minn, the Senior Training Coordinators of the Norwegian Home Guard, along with Camp Ripley's commander, Col Richard Weaver, toured many businesses in and around Little Falls Feb 17
The day started out with a friendly breakfast (frokost in Norwegian) at Perkins, where it soon became apparent that the "˜All American Breakfast' was a must to gather the full experience It was overheard that the food was "very good" and also a "very big breakfast" The Norwegian Home Guard left Perkins fully satisfied for a short shopping trip to Wal-Mart, known by some as one of the legends of Little Falls

It was then on to KLTF (Little Falls Radio) for an interview with Ron, Steve and Donna on "˜Party Line' It was here that Weaver and the Norwegian Home Guard Officer in Charge, Lt. Col. Johan Rist, were put in front of the microphone for such questions as "Do you eat Lutefisk?" along with family, hobby and work questions for all the other Senior Training Coordinators Rist commented to a caller questioning the secrets of ice fishing that "Those secrets of ice-fishing would have to be told in Norwegian, as they are secrets!" When asked about the training received here at Camp Ripley, Rist commented that "the instructors are better" than in Norway

One of the things that all of the Senior Training Coordinators complimented the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and local citizens on was their hospitality and friendliness When comparing the Norwegian Home Guard and the Minnesota National Guard, Rist stated that, "The support of the National Guard Soldiers by the people of Minnesota is overwhelming" He explained that he and his Home Guard were also thanked personally by a kind citizen (while visiting the small town of Royalton) for their support of the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers

The Norwegian Home Guard consists of around 1,200 members that, with the addition of Task Force, Strengthening Force, and Follow-Up Force personnel, can expand rapidly to 56,200 Rist stated that their Soldiers must be in very good physical condition and able to ski Their Home Guard Soldiers work hard and "do not get paid for their Soldiering duties, but we are working very hard to change that"

For lunch (lunsj in Norwegian), it was off to Pizza Ranch for a buffet Once again, the meal was filled with good food, friendly conversation, and laughter As visitors, the Norwegians were again impressed with the kind treatment from the staff and other local citizens who were there dining at the local establishment

Norway is known as one of the most prosperous nations in the world and was the second largest exporter of seafood for the year of 2006 That fact making fishing one of the most common past times of many Norwegians, it was obvious why their tours of Crestliner and Larson boats were so interesting to them The tours were filled with information and a personalized step by step explanation as to how the boats were built from start to finish

After enjoying an "All American Day" in the city of Little Falls, it was time for the Norwegians to provide their own hospitality and thanks to their Military hosts and the Chamber of Commerce The Norwegians prepared a feast of their customary food and drink for their guests to sample and enjoy The food spread demonstrated the influence of long seafaring and farming traditions with salmon, other seafood balanced by cheeses, and excellent bread The guests were also served lefse and Norwegian chocolates The wonderful food was topped off with the ever legendary Akvavit, which is an alcohol that is distilled from potatoes After short introductions from the senior leadership of the Norwegian Home Guard, the formal event ended with many thanks and an invitation to continue eating, drinking, and enjoying the company of new friends

by Minnesota Army National Guard Public Affairs
The Norwegian Exchange Program



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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
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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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