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Minnesota National Guard
Local volunteers join flood fighting effort in Fargo

Volunteers from the Douglas County area helped with flood relief efforts in Fargo-Moorhead this week

March 25, 2009 Volunteers from the Douglas County area helped with flood relief efforts in Fargo-Moorhead this week

Tastefully Simple and The Alexandria Blizzard coordinated an effort to bus 300 volunteers from the Alexandria area to the affected area Tuesday

The effort was one of many staged by communities throughout the region

Students, Soldiers, neighbors and other volunteers slogged through the rain en masse Monday, racing to reinforce levees and fill sandbags while the area braced for more moisture through today, Wednesday

As the National Weather Service stuck to its prediction that the Red River will crest at 39 to 41 feet in Fargo-Moorhead on Friday, the mounting stress of a potential record flood began to take its toll

"Fear is setting in," said Salvation Army Captain Adam Moore "We're seeing that on the streets"

As of 8:15 pm Monday, the Red River level in Fargo was 2758 feet

Weather service officials warned that a storm system moving into the Red River Valley from Nebraska overnight could drop up to an inch of rain over a widespread area before the rain turns to snow Wednesday

Despite sporadic showers Monday, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said the city "had a good day"

Fargo tried to speed up the dike-building process by deploying a portable wall system that's used to protect Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from bullets and grenades

Sharon Mueller watched from near her home just off 40th Avenue South as a payloader filled a wall of the Hesco containers with sand Under the road, large ice chunks floated down the swollen Drain 27

Mueller, a retired bartender, said she couldn't believe how fast the rising water was running She said that despite her husband's complacency, she was worried about flooding

"Can you imagine what Noah must have felt like?" she said

Sandbagging hit high gear in the metro, as high schools let out students and colleges canceled classes to aid the effort

North Dakota Governor John Hoeven said students would be forgiven for missed school days

About 30 Concordia College students stacked sandbags around Barb Groth's house in Oakport Township north of Moorhead, where several hundred volunteers pitched in

Groth, whose home flooded in 1997 when the Red River crested at 3957 feet, said she didn't think a repeat was possible

"I never thought it could happen again We're nervous," she said

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty stopped in Oakport and Moorhead, urging state residents to join the flood fight About 230 Minnesota National Guard troops were helping with flood efforts, and he said he expects that number will eventually reach about 400

Hoeven said the state's National Guard committed 500 Soldiers to the water war, with more available

Fargo raised its goal for daily sandbag output to 300,000 to try to fill 2 million bags by Thursday

"If those neighborhoods hold, we are safe as a city," said Fargo City Commissioner Tim Mahoney "If we're unable to do that, we're going to have a problem"

The city was prepared for a Red River crest of 38 feet Now, city officials want to get the dikes up to 42 feet, Mahoney said

At 41 feet "we lose a lot of houses," he said "If we're going to get this thing done, it's going to have to be done in the next 24 to 48 hours in a massive way"

The Fargodome, where volunteers waited for bus rides to Sandbag Central, the city's utilities building, became its own sandbag-filling station with hundreds of shovel-wielding volunteers scooping sand dumped on the parking lot

Sandbaggers kept spirits up despite the gloomy weather and flood outlook

Fargo plans to give residents routes out of town Wednesday afternoon or Thursday, said Pat Zavoral, Fargo city administrator

"There are some locations in south Fargo where if the water does break away from these [dikes], they won't be able to use Interstate-29," he said

Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes urged residents to go to the city's Web site and register for the Code Red alert system so they can be reached in an emergency Residents with land lines are already registered in the system

Sandbagging efforts continued overnight City officials hope they get 300 people an hour to help fill sandbags at the city's utility operation center at 2301 8th Ave N and 1,000 people an hour at the Fargodome Hoeven asked for a presidential emergency declaration based on preparation efforts because of the costs He said he thinks the state might get it today

Alexandria Echo Press
Forum reporters Mike Nowatzki and Tracy Frank contributed to this report
Read more at echopress.com



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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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