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Minnesota National Guard
Unexpected dip in river raises hope in Fargo

FARGO, ND (AP) -- An unexpected dip in the Red River miles upstream on Tuesday cheered sandbaggers struggling to raise this city's protective dikes high enough to withstand possible record flooding

The National Weather Service lowered its crest forecast for Wahpeton and its cross-river neighbor, Breckenridge, Minn, downward to 18 feet by Wednesday morning, well below the tops of their dikes

Meteorologist Jim Kaiser called it "definitely good news" but said it's too early to say whether the Red's projected crest in Fargo, 30 miles to the north, would also be lowered

Meanwhile, authorities in the small northern Minnesota town of Crookston called for the voluntary evacuation of about 200 people in low-lying areas after an ice jam led to a sudden rise on the Red Lake River The river was near the top of city dikes and rising, though the ice jam had broken and officials hoped to see the river begin falling

Crookston is about 50 miles northeast of Fargo

The weather service revised its Wahpeton prediction because it got new data from river gauges to replace a computer-modeled prediction, Kaiser said

The Red was expected to crest at Fargo between 39 and 41 feet by Saturday morning, though an updated forecast was due from the weather service later Tuesday By nearly midday Tuesday, the river was at about 305 feet, up about 5 feet since Monday morning

An emergency dike to protect downtown Fargo was being raised to 42 feet, but the expected crest would still threaten several neighborhoods and hundreds of homes in lower areas The Red's record high at Fargo is 396 feet, set during devastating 1997 flooding

Across the river from Fargo, Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland told WCCO-AM that the crest arrival had been moved up to Thursday afternoon, but meteorologist Bill Barrett said he was unaware of Voxland's statement

The forecast for Fargo called for a 50 percent chance of rain Tuesday, then possible snow Tuesday night and Wednesday

Hundreds of volunteers were at work on another day of placing sandbags, with a goal of filling nearly 2 million

"We don't see any fear," Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said "We just see people working very hard"

North Dakota had mobilized 660 National Guard members and expected to have 800 working by day's end Minnesota sent more than 300

"It's nice to have them deal with our sand, not the Iraq sand," said Rep Earl Pomeroy, D-ND

Along with sandbags, Fargo was deploying a portable wall system that shielded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from bullets The system is made up of 3- and 4-foot-high interlocking containers that are filled with sand It took workers just half an hour Monday to set up about 1,000 feet of the containers

The system was designed for erosion control, but quickly became popular with the military, said Stephanie Victory, a spokeswoman for manufacturer Hesco Bastion Its first meaningful test for flood protection was last summer in Iowa, she said

The city of Fargo was operating three large machines capable of producing 15,000 sandbags an hour Sand was also being piled on the floor of the Fargodome for people to shovel into bags the old-fashioned way

While eastern North Dakota residents battled the Red River, residents of ranching and farming country to the west fought the sudden rise of other streams swollen by melting snow and rain

Because of the flooding on the Red River and elsewhere in North Dakota, Amtrak said Tuesday it is detouring its Empire Builder around three communities for at least a week Spokesman Marc Magliari said Devils Lake, Grand Forks and Rugby will not have Amtrak service until further notice

Magliari says it likely will be several weeks before the tracks will be in shape to resume service to the three communities

It took a National Guard helicopter to rescue Bernie and Jenny Martin when a creek around their farm near Carson rose faster than expected "We were on an island We were totally surrounded by water," Bernie Martin said by phone from a friend's home Guard members used the helicopter because they were worried a boat would hit floating ice chunks or strong current

At Linton, south of Bismarck, a rising creek forced the evacuation of about 75 homes, and about 10 people were rescued by boat

Article source: www.Kare11.com



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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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