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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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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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