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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

NOTICE TO NEWS EDITORS:

-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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Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident

Posted: 2017-02-22  09:59 AM
NOREX youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.

As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.

"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."



To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter

Posted: 2017-02-21  01:25 PM
NOREX FTX HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.

It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.

"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."



Norwegian youth train with Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2017-02-16  10:52 AM
NOREX Youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard experienced some of Minnesota culture along with focused military style training during the first week of NOREX 2017.

The U.S.--Norway reciprocal Troop Exchange, which began Feb. 9, 2017, annually swaps approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard soldiers as well as youths to experience each other's training, military lifestyle and most importantly, culture.

"It's rewarding interacting with more young people eager to learn about a new lifestyle and culture," said Capt. Brett Farniok, Youth Platoon Officer-in-Charge.



Warmly welcomed, U.S. contingent arrives in Norway for NOREX 44

Posted: 2017-02-12  01:38 PM
NOREX44 CAMP VAERNES, Norway - Following a muster at the 133rd Airlift Wing and an eight-hour overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 100 Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard finally arrived in Norway to conduct the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange on Feb. 9, 2017.

While the U.S.-based Soldiers were warmly greeted by members of the Norwegian Home Guard at Camp Vaernes, a similarly-sized group of Norwegian Home Guard members were received at Camp Ripley Training Center. The arrival of military members from both countries to their host nations formally began the annual exchange, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to become fully-immersed in foreign military and social culture.

"Though I didn't know what to expect before getting here, they have been very welcoming," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Taylor Hanson, a member of the 148th Fighter Wing. "They are making sure we had everything."



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