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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Soldiers Killed In Iraq

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Minnesota National Guard Soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom

Sergeant Corey J Rystad, Age 20, of Red Lake Falls; and Sergeant Bryan T McDonough, Age 22, of Maplewood were both killed in combat Both Soldiers were assigned to B Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, based in Crookston While traveling on a patrol mission near Fallujah, Iraq an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near their vehicle on Saturday, December 2nd at approximately 4 pm Iraq time

"We mourn the loss of these two Soldiers; they were truly part of our National Guard family," said Maj Gen Larry Shellito, the Adjutant General of Minnesota, "Please take a moment to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by these two brave men We will never forget their dedication, loyalty and bravery to the United States of America and the state of Minnesota I ask that you keep their families and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they enter the holiday season with heavy hearts"

Members of the media are invited to a press conference at 3 pm on Monday, Dec 4 at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue North, Crookston, Minn Lt Col Kevin Gutknecht, the Rear Detachment Commander of the 1st of the 34th Brigade Combat Team will make a statement to the media

The Minnesota National Guard will operate a media information center at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue North, Crookston, Minn on Monday, Dec 4 The media is invited to generate remote broadcasts from the Detroit Lakes Armory on Monday, Dec 4


-The families have requested that further media inquiries be directed to the Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Office at 651-268-8949 The family does not wish to be contacted by the media

- Details of funeral service will be provided as they become available

- visit: www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org
Sgt. Bryan McDonough
Sgt. Corey Rystad

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Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation

Posted: 2015-11-17  10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: 2015-11-16  07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: 2015-11-12  12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

Minnesota Guardsman Honored for Her Work Against Domestic Violence

Posted: 2015-11-10  12:32 PM
Diaz award ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project recently honored Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Diaz, the Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, with the "Journey of Hope" award for her efforts to bring safety and justice to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

The BWLAP is a dynamic, state-wide program that serves battered women, their advocates, attorneys, and the general public. The organization is constantly reacting and evolving to meet the legal needs of battered women. In many cases they are the first resource victims turn to following a domestic violence incident.

According to Chief Diaz, the BWLAP's mission goes beyond responding to legal issues that arise from an episode of domestic violence.

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