| 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
Minnesota Guardsman recognized for cultural influence and leadership
Posted: 2016-05-19 09:08 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - For his work to promote diversity and build community relationships, Minnesota National Guard Warrant Officer Candidate Alan Lee received the Federal Asian Pacific American Council's Military Meritorious Service Award in Orlando, Fla., May 10, 2016. He was also recognized with a resolution in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives, May 18.
"To be selected as one out of 12 in the entire nation, I'm really honored," said Lee. "I'm still speechless about it, but I'm truly humbled for it. I don't even believe that I'm deserving of it, I just feel like I'm doing something for the community and for the National Guard."
Lee, whose parents were sponsored to come to America in 1980 as Laotian refugees in Thailand, was born in California and moved to Minnesota in 1990 to be with the rest of his large, extended family. Growing up, Lee heard stories about his grandfather and uncle serving in the Vietnam War which motivated him to want to serve as well. He enlisted at the age of 17 when he was a junior in high school.
Minnesota National Guard aviators respond to wildfires in northern Minnesota
Posted: 2016-05-18 09:21 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Helicopter crews of the Minnesota National Guard joined firefighters May 6-9, 2016, in northern Minnesota to battle wildfires.
In response to requests made by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources through the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Governor Mark Dayton authorized the use of four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and support personnel to assist in suppression of wildfires across the Iron Range in northern Minnesota.
"Our mission was to provide aviation support to the wildfire suppression missions which assisted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources," said Maj. Jeremy Degier, aviation duty officer.
Planning and Execution: Keys to a Good Deployment
Posted: 2016-05-16 10:36 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - In early April 2016, the 148th Fighter Wing deployed approximately 300 Airmen and about a dozen F-16's to Osan Air Base, Korea as part of a Theater Security Package (TSP). TSP's have been an integral part of the U.S. Pacific Air Command's force posture since 2004. TSP deployments are routine and not due to any specific threat in the region and usually last three to four months. So, what does it take to make a deployment like this happen?
"From a Logistical Readiness Squadron (LRS) perspective, I would break a deployment into two phases; planning and execution," said Maj. Darin Phillips, 148th Fighter Wing Installation Deployment Officer.
During the planning phase personnel are trained according to the deployment reporting instructions of that theater, to include medical requirements and other personal qualifications. On the cargo side, Unit Deployment Managers (UDMs) and increment monitors work to build their cargo, so load plans can be submitted to get airlift for both equipment and personnel.
133rd Airlift Wing Welcomes New Commander
Posted: 2016-05-13 10:45 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - During a change of command ceremony, April 16, 2016, at the 133rd Airlift Wing's South Hangar, Col. Daniel E. Gabrielli took charge of the 133rd Airlift Wing from the outgoing commander, Col. James T. Johnson.
The military tradition of passing the unit guidon from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander was carried out with prestige by the presiding officer, Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Air, with the assistance of Command Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler. Members of the wing, past and present, as well as friends and family filled the entire hangar to witness the event and to pass on well-wishes to both men.
"To all of you who make up the collective 133rd Airlift Wing, you are the heart and soul of the machine which accomplishes the mission on a day-to-day basis," said Gabrielli during his address to the Airmen. "My challenge to you all as well as myself, is to keep our focus simple. Be the best you can be and continually ask yourself - are you as ready as you can possibly be to execute your wartime mission?"