| 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
Bearcats toast mission success
Posted: 2014-10-23 12:31 PM
MAHNOMEN, Minn.- Soldiers, families and friends of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment attended the unit's annual Bearcat Dinner, October 18, 2014.
The dinner, a tradition for the battalion, celebrated the proud lineages of the unit, as well as highlighted the accomplishments they have made over the past year.
"We have devoted a great deal of effort to pay attention to our unit readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Haugen, admin NCO for the battalion.
114th Transportation Company Welcome Home Ceremony
Posted: 2014-10-22 03:53 PM
CHISHOLM, Minn.- The Minnesota National Guard's Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company is scheduled to hold their 30-day reintegration event and welcome home ceremony Saturday at Chisholm High School after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.
"A priority of the Minnesota National Guard is to improve the wellness and resiliency of service members and their family members," said Army Capt. Ryan R. Koester, 114th Transportation Company Commander.
Minnesota Military Radio talks Veterans Voices, sequestration
Posted: 2014-10-22 09:00 AM
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Humanities Center honored 30 Minnesota Veterans who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with the 2014 Veterans' Voices awards, September 11, 2014. Two of these veterans - Dennis Schulstad, an Air Force veteran and retired brigadier general, and Capt. Amber Manke, a current member of the Minnesota Army National Guard - recently spoke about their community involvement on Minnesota Military Radio.
The Minnesota Humanity Center's veterans voices program draws on the power of humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of veterans. It empowers Minnesota veterans to speak in their own voices through plays, art, discussion groups and the veterans voices award.
Also this week on Minnesota Military Radio, Col. (Ret.) Don Kerr warned listeners of the coming effects on the Minnesota National Guard due to congressional gridlock. Kerr, the president of the Vessey Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, reminded listeners that the coming automatic budget cut, known as sequestration, has returned and will mean a loss of about 80,000 Soldiers across the Army nationwide.
1/34th Brigade Special Troop Battalion Reorganizes; The Army of 2020
Posted: 2014-10-18 10:31 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT) completed its official reorganization of the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1/34th BSTB) to the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion (334th BEB), Oct. 18, 2014.
"This unit reorganization lays the groundwork for meeting the Army's 2020 vision in which brigades are self-contained combined arms formations," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT Commander.
133rd Airlift Wing Welcomes home Security Forces Squadron members from deployment
Posted: 2014-10-16 09:34 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn.- Thirteen airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron are scheduled to return Friday to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.
"During this deployment, the 133rd airmen melded with their active duty counterparts and utilized their citizen-airmen experiences and training to help fight the war on terrorism in an overseas environment," said Col. Terrance Sieben, the security forces squadron commander.
MPD Sgt. Blackwell: 'We're human, we have hearts, we care about people'
Posted: 2014-10-15 08:42 AM
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.(KMSP)- Talking with Minneapolis police Sgt. Katie Blackwell, it's clear she truly cares about her job and the people who live and work in the first precinct.When a man was sexually assaulting women in Ramp C downtown last week Sgt. Blackwell took it personally, making his arrest a top priority. The suspect was in custody within 48 hours.
"We just won't tolerate predators walking through our city and our communities, so yeah, I took it pretty personally," Sgt. Blackwell said.
To understand why she cares so much, one has to know where she's coming from, and it's quite a story. She grew up one of 10 kids in northeast Minneapolis, something Sgt. Blackwell says helps her connect with her community.