| 834th ASB receives new leadership
The 834th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) welcomed a new commander at a Change of Command Ceremony in St. Paul, Minn. on Nov. 15. Lt. Col. Eric Waage, the outgoing 834th ASB Commander, passed the battalion colors to Lt. Col. Michael Taff, the incoming commander, signifying the beginning of a new chapter in the battalion story.
“I am proud to have been part of such an effective unit, filled with these outstanding people, during an important period in our nation's history,” Lt. Col. Waage said.
Under Lt. Col. Waage’s leadership, the 834th ASB received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Award following its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of Task Force 34 from Aug. 2008 to May 2009.
“I am particularly proud of the reputation that the 834th built in Iraq for tirelessly finding solutions to any strange and difficult logistical problems that impacted those units we supported,” Lt. Col. Waage continued.
Throughout his time in command, Lt. Col. Waage left a lasting impression on those he worked with.
“I learned a lot from Lt. Col. Waage, he has many qualities that a leader should have,” said Cpt. Daniel Dobler, Headquarters Support Company 834th ASB Commander. “He was a very good listener and was able to absorb a great deal of information, process it and come out with very logical and sound plans.”
Cpt. Dobler feels Lt. Col. Taff will also be a great leader and great fit for the battalion, because he is familiar with the 834th ASB from his previous full time job as the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) Officer in Charge, and also from the deployment where he was the 34th CAB Executive Officer.
“Lt. Col. Taff brings strong leadership abilities to the unit, and also his knowledge of the battalion and what it is capable of doing will also make him a strong battalion commander,” Cpt. Dobler said.
Lt. Col. Waage also has faith that Lt. Col. Taff will succeed.
“I've known Lt. Col. Taff for many years and have a great deal of respect for him,” Lt. Col. Waage said. “I know he is really motivated to do some great things during his tenure, so I am very happy that the unit will be in such capable hands. He will make a superb battalion commander.”
Lt. Col. Taff is ready to put his stamp on the 834th ASB.
“I had been watching this organization for some time and have noted the challenges that organization faced. The diverse mission sets of the battalion have always intrigued me,” Lt. Col. Taff said. “My first focus will be to ensure that the right leadership is in the right positions as we now assume a new mission set supporting state active duty demands.”
Lt. Col. Taff is excited to use this command as a stepping stone in his career to eventually move upward in the state and the Army.
“This will hopefully pave the way for U.S. Army War College and ultimately a Colonel position,” Lt. Col. Taff said.
Both, incoming and outgoing commanders are proud of where the 834th ASB has been and look forward to what the future holds.
Lt. Col. Waage now works with Joint Force Headquarters as the Director of Joint Doctrine, Training and Force Development, which coincides with his full-time National Guard position.
By Sgt. Jodi Krause
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
15 Nov. 2009
US State Partnership Programme improves regional security
Posted: 2015-03-30 10:37 AM
The US has been aiding countries in the region to improve their defence and military capacities as well as their relations with the NATO. The main tool for this goal is the US State Partnership Programme, in which the US National Guard partners with states from the former Soviet Bloc.
"In the process of upgrading the capabilities of the armed forces of small, transitional countries, co-operation with developed, democratic countries and their military structures [is necessary]," Zvonimir Mahecic, an external expert at the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb and a retired colonel from the Croatian military, told SETimes. "Through joint activities, militaries as well as civilians of small countries are getting a chance to learn from the experiences of military structures that had passed through significant development and adjustment to the needs of combat and non-combat operations of the 21st century. This kind of co-operation represents a great chance to transfer knowledge and achieve implementation. One example of this type of co-operation is between the Minnesota National Guard and Croatian."
Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice
Posted: 2015-03-25 08:45 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - "A Gold Star family member is a person who has lost a loved one who was serving our nation in the armed forces regardless of the circumstances of the death," said Survivor Outreach Services provider Amy Garber.
Bill Smith, father of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, and Richard Cauley, father of Spc. George Cauley, two Gold Star dads, recently spoke about their sons and what it means to be a Gold Star father.
"Everyone's greatest fear is the thought they'll say something awkward [to a Gold Star family member]. We want to talk about our loved ones. The greatest sadness would be that no one would remember," said Bill Smith.
334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Celebrates Women's History
Posted: 2015-03-22 01:39 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Soldiers of Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion took time away from training to celebrate Women's History Month with a look at the history of women in the Minnesota National Guard from someone who lived it.
Invited to speak at the event was Geraldine Longfellow. In 2008, Longfellow retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard at the rank of lieutenant colonel. She has since been brevetted to the rank of colonel.
Camp Ripley Guardsman Recognized as "Big Brother of the Year"
Posted: 2015-03-18 03:40 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - For many Service members of the Minnesota National Guard, dedication to the community is as high of a priority as any other mission.
"We feel it is our duty, in our own communities, to ensure that our friends and neighbors are taken care of," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Ross.
Ross, who has been an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota for over three years, as well as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, was recently recognized by the agency as "Big Brother of the Year" for the State of Minnesota.