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Minnesota National Guard
Pawlenty seeks speedy federal flood aid

As northwestern Minnesota communities fought rising floodwater amid rain and a snow storm, Gov Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday sought an expedited federal disaster declaration

March 25, 2009

ST PAUL - State officials are ramping up their Red River Valley flood assistance and asking the federal government for similar efforts

As northwestern Minnesota communities fought rising floodwater amid rain and a snow storm, Gov Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday sought an expedited federal disaster declaration

Pawlenty sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a speedy disaster declaration for the Red River Valley region The governor said it is clear there will be enough damage to trigger federal aid, which could include disaster unemployment assistance, small business disaster loans and low-interest loans for flooded farmers

"I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance is necessary," Pawlenty wrote

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have been "informally" involved in the region, Pawlenty said, but a federal disaster declaration will broaden their participation

Meeting goes well

US Sen Amy Klobuchar and US Rep Collin Peterson met Wednesday with Obama and North Dakota's congressional delegation to discuss the flooding

"President Obama listened to everything we told him and he assured us that we would have whatever assistance we needed," Peterson said "He understands the severity of the situation"

The state is stepping up its relief efforts as local communities along the Red River fight back rising floodwaters

Pawlenty and the state's other four constitutional officers approved a 30-day extension of a state emergency declaration, and the state's Emergency Operations Center in downtown St Paul was "fully activated"

By Wednesday, 388 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers were activated to the region, Pawlenty said, and more deployments are possible

There are 290 Soldiers in Clay County, 50 in Norman County and another 45 in Wilkin County Those in Wilkin County will complete their work by Saturday and could be sent elsewhere to help fight flooding

"We're putting everything we've got into the flood fight in northwestern Minnesota," Pawlenty told reporters

The state disaster declaration is for Clay, Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Traverse and Wilkin counties

Rallying to help

The National Guard, State Patrol and Health, Agriculture, Transportation and Natural Resources departments are among those taking part in increased state involvement

The state Emergency Operations Center is coordinating state response to flooded communities' requests for equipment, including sandbags, generators and helicopters The National Guard, State Patrol and a host of state agencies are involved

"They continue to come in on an hourly basis," Public Safety official Dennis Smith said of local requests All of the 52 requests filed by Wednesday had been met, he added

The combination of flooding and blowing snow prompted the state Transportation Department to close portions of northwestern Minnesota highways and warn drivers that fluctuating water levels make it difficult to predict whether water will flood a roadway

Pawlenty toured Moorhead and Breckenridge, Minn, earlier this week and said he would return to the region in the coming days Pawlenty said Red River Valley communities are better prepared for flooding than they were five years ago, largely because of their experience with the floods of 1997

Since the 1997 floods, millions of dollars have been spent on flood mitigation efforts in northwestern Minnesota

Scott Wente "¢ Grand Forks Herald

Read more at grandforksheraldcom (reg required)
Read the latest Minnesota National Guard press release.

March 24, 2009: "100 More National Guard Soldiers sent to Red River," StarTribune

March 24, 2009: "Lower projection on Red upstream may help Fargo," 5 EYEWITNESS News

March 24, 2009: "State offers flood assistance," Bemidji Pioneer

March 23, 2009: "Minnesota Soldiers help with battle against river," INFORUM, The forum of Fargo-Moorhead

March 23, 2009: "Minnesota Guard will help the fight," StarTribune

March 23, 2009: "Minnesota, N.D. Guard respond to Red River Valley flooding," National Guard Bureau



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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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