| 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
Norwegian Home Guard gets inter-agency training
Posted: 2015-02-25 03:15 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Soldiers of the Norwegian Home Guard conducted inter-agency training with state and local law enforcement, Feb. 12-23, 2015, at Camp Ripley.
"The training conducted by the Norwegian Rapid Reaction Force, or RRF, is based on the National Guard's focus of inter-agency cooperation in time of need," said Lt. Col. Bryce Erickson of the Minnesota National Guard.
The training was organized as part of the American-Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange; which is in its 42nd consecutive year between the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard.
Minnesota, Norwegian service members retrace a successful mission, remember the terrible cost
Posted: 2015-02-24 10:14 AM
SNAASA, Norway- Airmen and Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard participating in the 42nd American - Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) retraced the steps of U.S. and Norwegian special operators 70 years ago who, during the final months of World War II, waged a successful sabotage campaign against German forces occupying Norway.
The U.S. Service members, along with their Norwegian counterparts, completed a 12-mile trek on skis through mountainous terrain, as well as a reconnaissance of the Jorstad bridge and simulated demolition using signal flares. The field training exercise concluded, February 19, 2015, with a ceremony in honor of those who destroyed the bridge to stop the movement of German troops through Norway and a wreath-laying in memory of the 80 people who perished, January 13, 1945, when a train derailed into the icy water several hours after the demolition.
148th Fighter Wing 1st Sgt. Assists in Saving a Life
Posted: 2015-02-23 11:06 AM
DULUTH, Minn.- Whether he is performing his duties at the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn., or volunteering as the Fire Chief for the Rice Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Senior Master Sgt. Scott Twining epitomizes the Air Force core value of "service before self".
As a member of the volunteer fire department and a first responder, Twining and the rest of the Rice Lake Fire Department team are often the first emergency response personnel to get to a scene. Twining estimates that 80 percent of their calls are for medical emergencies.
On Jan. 7, 2015, Twining and other members of the fire department responded to a call for help at a local business establishment. Upon their arrival, a male in his mid-fifties was collapsing from a heart attack. After a quick medical assessment, Twining and other team members set up a defibrillator and began to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Sentry Savannah brings Minnesota brothers together
Posted: 2015-02-20 10:41 AM
SAVANNAH, Ga.- In the Guard, it is not unusual to have family members in the same unit. It is unusual, however, to have three brothers doing the same job for the same unit.
Staff Sgt. Michael Sirois, Senior Airman Patrick Sirois and Airman 1st Class Nicholas Sirois are F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs with the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. and are participating in the 2015 Sentry Savannah 15-1 training exercise taking place Feb. 7-20 in Savannah, Ga.
Nicholas just got back from Crew Chief Technical School in July 2014 and Sentry Savannah was the first deployment the brothers had an opportunity to go on together.