| 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 US 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
Willmar-based National Guardsmen to return home Saturday
Posted: 2016-08-25 03:26 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
More than 150 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's 682nd Engineer Battalion will return to Willmar Saturday following a mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"The Soldiers of Task Force Wild excelled in their mission, and were recognized across the theater for their hard work and dedication," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, battalion commander. "I couldn't be prouder of how our Soldiers represented the State of Minnesota."
The mission of the Task Force was to provide horizontal and vertical engineer construction in support of coalition forces in the region. The Soldiers oversaw the planning and execution of 285 construction projects with an approximate total value of 20.2 million dollars in seven countries: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
Minnesota Identification Card will no longer grant access to Department of Defense installations
Posted: 2016-08-19 01:53 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
With the implementation of the "REAL ID Act" going into effect at Department of Defense installations nationwide, access will no longer be granted to Minnesotans carrying standard state-issued identification cards. Beginning this week, Minnesota residents will be required to have an approved escort or use alternative forms of identification to access the following installations:
- 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul
- 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth
- 934th Joint Base, Minneapolis
- Military Facility at Fort Snelling
Without a 'Real ID,' access will be granted only to individuals with an approved escort (i.e. a service member with a Common Access Card), or carrying one of the approved alternative forms of acceptable ID.
General John W. Vessey, Jr. - The 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Posted: 2016-08-19 08:22 AM
General John W. Vessey, Jr., a former member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94.
General John W. Vessey, Jr. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 29 June 1922. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in May 1939 while still in high school, becoming a member of Headquarters, 59th Field Artillery Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. He was only 16 and fibbed about his age to join. With other members of his unit he was called to active duty in February 1941. When war came, the 34th became the first American division sent to Europe, where it initially fought in North Africa and then in Italy. A natural leader, Vessey rose quickly in the enlisted ranks until 6 May 1944 when, pinned down on the Anzio Beachhead amidst high casualties, the 21-year old battery first sergeant was given a battlefield commission and sent forward to direct artillery fire.
Vessey decided to stay in the Army after war. During his first 30 years of military service, he spent most of his time in combat divisions. In addition to his World War II assignment with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy, Vessey served with the 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division in Germany, the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and was commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado.
He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also graduated from the University of Maryland. His love of flying prompted him to earn his wings, which he always wore proudly. When he graduated from the Army Helicopter School in 1970, he was 15 years older than the next oldest student.
Message of hope and healing stands out during fun run
Posted: 2016-08-18 10:49 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - A 5K run/walk event was held for Minnesota National Guard service members Saturday at Camp Ripley.
This event is one of two in the series of fun runs hosted by the Resilience, Risk Reduction & Suicide Prevention, or R3SP.
"Soldiers truly enjoyed this alternative training option. The smiles that were on the participants faces when they crossed the finish line showed they had fun," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeanette Chaffee of R3SP.