/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
State offers flood assistance

"The Minnesota National Guard is always prepared to react"

March 24, 2009

ST PAUL " The first request came in Thursday: 50,000 sandbags were needed in northwestern Minnesota's Clay County and Oakport Township

In the days since, state officials received pleas for dozens of electric generators, boats, water pumps and more than 1 million sandbags from communities along the flooding Red River

State agencies have provided nearly all of the equipment and staffing sought and Public Safety Department officials were ready Monday to activate a full-blown emergency operations center in St Paul to help coordinate state and federal flood assistance

"Any disaster, any emergency is a local event," said Doug Neville, a Public Safety Department information officer "Our job is really to be here when that local agency, whether it's a city or a county, becomes overwhelmed or they don't have all the stuff they need"

By noon Monday all but one of the 19 requests by flood-threatened communities to the state emergency center had been met Sandbags and equipment were transported to holding stations in Crookston and the Moorhead area

Full activation of the state emergency operations center in downtown St Paul would bring together more than 100 people from 24 to 30 state and federal agencies and volunteer organization Activation could take only 30 minutes

"Generally in situations like this there is a full activation," Neville said

There already are state workers on the ground in flooded areas, Neville said, and Minnesota and North Dakota emergency management officials are talking frequently

Gov Tim Pawlenty toured Moorhead and Breckenridge Monday with state emergency management and National Guard leaders

Lawmakers from the area said they are monitoring rising floodwaters and expect that the Legislature will need to pass flood cleanup funding later this spring

By Monday afternoon a total of 300 Moorhead-based National Guard members were dispatched to help with flood relief Two-hundred were activated Sunday, another 100 Monday, National Guard Cap Randy Belden said

Soldiers are being sent to Breckenridge and Moorhead to monitor traffic, patrol dikes and prepare for other flood-related activity Guard members also have transported heavy equipment, including vehicles and generators, to the flooded areas

Belden, who responded to the Red River floods of 1997 and 2006, said there are more than enough Guard members ready to assist if more help is needed

"Flooding is part of Minnesota and the Minnesota National Guard is always prepared to react to that situation," Belden said

The Moorhead-based unit includes Soldiers familiar with northwestern Minnesota flooding, Belden said

Belden, too, has experience with Red River Valley flooding He lived in Fargo until 2007

"It's very helpful down here to be looking at maps and be familiar with the area," he said

Lawmakers representing the Red River Valley said there is no need yet for legislative involvement, but that time will come

"I don't know of anything else we need," said Sen Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon "If there happens to be a lot of damage, I suppose there could be something"

Rep Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said the Legislature will need to provide flood-related funding later this session, when flood damage is better known

Lanning, who was Moorhead mayor during the 1997 flood, said that federal aid would follow a presidential disaster declaration, should one be made in the coming days or weeks, but federal funds will not cover all costs

"A lot has happened since '97 to protect ourselves, but this flood is going to go beyond protection already in place," Lanning told fellow House members

Rep Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, is in daily contact with officials of most threatened cities in his district

"A lot of what the state can do is mitigation," Marquart said, so his legislative effort is focused on a public works bill that provides funds for preventing future flood damage

Marquart, who was Dilworth mayor during the 1997 flood, said he wants at least as much flood-fighting money as contained in a bill senators have passed - $26 million The House public works committee has yet to draw up its funding bill

However, he added, once damages are known, lawmakers may need to examine some emergency funding

Flooding help

Langseth, who leads the Senate Capital Investment Committee, said the $26 million included in the Senate's public works package could help some of the flooded areas

"That's a great number but the need is far greater than that," Lanning said "There's a lot of work to be done"

Most communities are in better shape to deal with floods than in 1997, Marquart said That is important, he said, because "the 500-year floods are coming every 10 years"

Marquart said there was one silver lining in the 1997 flood: "this would be a lot worse if we didn't have "˜97"

Marquart urged fellow House members "to keep residents of the Red River Valley in your thoughts and your prayers"

Sen LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, said lawmakers will have to come together on flood relief funding this year, but it is too soon to know what that will look like

"We'll know I'm sure within a few weeks the extent of the spring flooding," Stumpf said

The Public Safety Department said there are ways Minnesotans can help Red River residents Moorhead needs volunteers to assist with sandbagging Other volunteer opportunities can be found by calling toll free (800) 543-7709

Scott Wente "¢ Bemidji Pioneer
State Capitol reporter Don Davis contributed to this story

More at The Bemidji Pioneer
March 23, 2009: "Minnesota Guard will help the Fight," StarTribune



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



Article archive
 
top