/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
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

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."

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."

Article archive