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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard Soldiers Thanked for Flood Assistance

"From the ground and in the air, Minnesota Guardsmen worked hard supporting our citizens and communities"

Watch video of the ceremony on YouTube

April 25, 2009

JAMESTOWN, ND - Folks in the Midwest take pride in having a solid work ethic and helping their neighbors in times of need

These qualities were clearly demonstrated by the actions of the West St Paul, Minn,-based A Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment and the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, out of Cambridge, Minn, during their recent mobilization in support of flood relief efforts in North Dakota

Ceremonies honoring 146 Soldiers from A Company/2-135 IN, and 113 Soldiers from the 850th HEC were conducted in Jamestown and Fargo, respectively, on April 23, the evening before they left for home


Brig Gen William Seekins, land component commander for the North Dakota National Guard, and Command Sgt Major Daniel Job, command sergeant major for the Joint Force Headquarters of the North Dakota National Guard, were present to honor the Minnesota Soldiers

"For you to be there in our time of need, I can't tell you how much it means to the citizens of North Dakota," Seekins told the Minnesota Soldiers "The willingness to help, rolling up your sleeves to assist your neighbors; well, that's what the National Guard is all about"

The North Dakota National Guard leadership presented coins to several Soldiers from both units in special recognition of their service to the state of North Dakota

"The leadership demonstrated by the professional non-commissioned officers in these units was simply outstanding," remarked Job "Soldiers remained highly motivated throughout their deployment and their hard work and efforts were greatly appreciated by all the North Dakotans they assisted"

The 2-135 IN Soldiers under the leadership of Capt Ryan Cochran and 1st Sgt Chris Stoner began their assistance missions the day after arriving in North Dakota by traveling in helicopters to the Grand Rapids area of LaMoure County on April 14 They immediately went to work reinforcing dikes with sandbagging efforts and were extremely instrumental in assisting with Chinook and Black Hawk helicopter placements of one-ton sandbags in response to emergency flood protection measures

Later, the infantry Soldiers moved to Jamestown, where they performed various flood fighting missions which included dike patrol, assisting with sandbagging as well as door-to-door welfare checks of residents

The 850th HEC also stood watch in North Dakota communities with grateful neighbors in numerous flooded areas, helping prepare and if needed, rescue citizens stranded by rising flood waters

"We provided evacuation and QRF [Quick Reaction Force] teams in and around Fargo," said Capt Brenda L Ruth, company commander for the 850th HEC

However, the unit was willing to help out whenever and wherever needed The engineer unit also provided invaluable assistance to various flood fighting missions in LaMoure, Stutsman, and Cass Counties

"The Cass County sheriff was our ultimate authority," said 1st Lt Jon M Dahl, officer in charge during the unit's night shift "Anything we could do to help; we were more than ready and willing to assist in any flood mission requested"

In natural disasters confusion can be a common hurdle to overcome The 850th leadership kept a positive attitude and fulfilled their missions in the flood fight often with advice to civil authorities on how to best to utilize their Soldiers and equipment

"Flexibility was the key," added 2nd Lt Curt J Fernandez, the officer in charge during the dayshift

The Soldiers and their equipment returned to Minnesota on April 24, and the ceremonies in their honor let them know how much their efforts were appreciated

"I knew they were doing well, but when you hear it from everyone else, it really sinks in," Ruth added

On April 13, more than 300 Minnesota National Guardsmen were mobilized and sent to North Dakota to provide additional support for flood fighting efforts in response to a request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact The EMAC is an agreement between states whose purpose is to provide a mechanism for requesting and receiving emergency assistance from other member states quickly and efficiently This is the first time that the Minnesota National Guard has deployed to North Dakota under this mutual aid compact

In addition to the engineers and infantry units, the Minnesota National Guard also sent three Chinooks (2nd Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment) and seven Black Hawk helicopters (147th Assault Helicopter Battalion) complete with flight crews to help with the flood fight Additionally, Montana, Missouri, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa also sent Guardsmen, helicopters, aviation maintenance teams and other equipment to assist in the flood fighting operations

"We are impressed with the Minnesota National Guard's professionalism and appreciative of their assistance to our communities in the fight against rising flood waters," said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk (sprin-suh-NAT'-ick), adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard "From the ground and in the air, Minnesota Guardsmen worked hard supporting our citizens and communities threatened by historic flooding It's good to know that we have great neighbors in Minnesota and other states that responded with valuable and timely assistance in support of our flood fighting operations"

Since the terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 2,800 Soldiers and more than 1,600 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism In recent weeks, nearly 2,000 North Dakota National Guardsmen - with support of about 400 additional Soldiers and Airmen from six other states - have been mobilized for current flood fighting missions all across North Dakota With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, we continue to have sufficient forces available to provide emergency response and homeland defense

by Spc Joshua Dodds "¢ 116th Public Affairs Detachment, North Dakota National Guard, and
Senior Master Sgt Ralph Kapustka "¢ 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard


Read more at dvidshubnet Watch video of the ceremony on YouTube
April 25, 2009: Minnesota Guard Soldiers Thanked For Flood Assistance - Low-Res

Follow the Minnesota National Guard's efforts in the fight at Flood Fight 2009.



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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