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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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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
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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."



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.



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