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Minnesota National Guard
Guardsmen assist in search for Staples man

The National Guard is "always ready" to support natural disaster relief and provide assistance to the local law enforcement  When a Minnesota man went missing, duty called

Peter Achermann, 82, of Staples, Minn, was last seen on July 24  His vehicle was found the next day North East of Staples, about 10 miles from his home on a minimum maintenance road

Searchers looked in a one-mile radius from where Achermann's 1995 Chevrolet station wagon was found  The terrain in this radius is mostly flat with swamps and bogs on three sides  The middle of the search area is open fields and pasture lands
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Searches have been conducted with personnel from the Motley and Staples fire departments, Central Lakes Search and Rescue, community volunteers, divers from the Lakes Area Dive Team and law enforcement officers

Exhausting local resources, the Cass County Sheriff asked the Minnesota Army National Guard to assist with the efforts

On Saturday and Sunday, the sheriff's department was assisted in its search for Achermann by members of the Minnesota National Guard   Along with Soldiers and sheriff's department staff on the ground, a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter was used to fly low over the area, said Sheriff's Sgt Erick Hoglund

On Friday, Aug 7, Gov Tim Pawlenty signed an executive order directing the Minnesota National Guard to State Active Duty, using any needed personnel and equipment in support of the Cass County Sheriff's search

"We were alerted Friday afternoon, and had about four hours warning before we had to provide our roster," said 1st Lt Christopher Bingham, Platoon Leader, 1-194th Combined Arms Battalion (CAB)  

Reporting on Aug 8, the 1-194th Combined Arms Battalion of Brainerd joined the effort with 90 Soldiers searching the area where Mr Archermann's car had been found  "Once we got there, we fell under the control of the Cass County Sheriff's department," Bingham said  "We were tasked out to search various locations of the surrounding area, to include forested area [and] swamps"

"We didn't come up with anything," Hoglund said "The guardsmen were a real asset We worked well together and covered a lot of area but we still haven't found anything"

The Minnesota National Guard completed search operations Sunday, Aug 9  The search ended for the Guardsmen when the Cass County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Achermann family decided that National Guard resources were no longer needed 

Hoglund said the sheriff's department will continue its search for Achermann and National Guard Soldiers are still available if needed  He also said sheriff's investigators are working to determine why Achermann was on the minimum maintenance road

by Sgt Jodi Krause, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
7 August 2009
This story In The News

Nat’l Guard Halts Search Efforts for Missing Staples Man 08/10/2009, 03:36 PM

Guard to help in search for Achermann

National Guard joins search for missing grandfather 08/09/2009

Minnesota National Guard Joins Search For Missing Staples Man
08/08/2009, 07:04 PM

Minn. Troops Join Search For Missing Grandfather 08/08/2009, 06:49 PM

Guard joins search for man, 82, near Staples
08/07/2009, 10:56 PM

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