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Minnesota National Guard
Partnership program between UofM, Iraq to begin

COB BASRA " Calling all doctors: soon, doctors from southern Iraq may be able to travel to study with their counterparts at the University of Minnesota

Col Michael Rath, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Surgeon, said he has been in talks to create a partnership program between the University of Minnesota Academic Health Centers and the Basra Medical and Nursing Schools

A visit to the campus in Minneapolis Dec 4 was followed by invitations for faculty visitation to address curriculum and instruction, in addition to faculty development in Basrah A reply from the dean of the Basrah Medical School is expected to frame the relationships for years to come

The partnership program would allow doctors from Basrah to travel to U of M facilities for one or two weeks at a time to "scrub in and learn the latest advances in surgical technique," Rath said

The proposed partnership program began with a meal Rath was attending a July 4 dinner when he was summoned to the commanding general's table

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Maj Gen Richard Nash, head of Multi-National Division South, wanted him to meet the cleric, Imam Al-Moosawi, an important Basrah cleric and businessman What followed was an invitation to meet his brother-in-law, a physician and director of the Al-Moosawi Hospital in Basrah At issue was the need to provide updates to surgical training for Dr Al-Moosawi and his associates

Rath and personnel of the Basrah Provincial Reconstruction Team visited the hospital and local schools, which Rath said are the future of Iraq "This province depends on these schools to produce the doctors and nurses, who, following their training, will provide primary care and go off to obtain specialty training," said Rath

After some planning and outreach, Rath visited the Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany for a meeting with the hospital commander there

An existing civilian surgeon program offered the training Al-Moosawi sought, and similar contacts with the University of Minnesota should make similar access for surgical training available as details are worked out

"The citizens of Minnesota have a long tradition of philanthropy not only in the state and in the country but in the world," said Rath, who has supplied his successors with follow-on plans to support the partnership program long after the Red Bulls leave

"I think what the University of Minnesota schools will appreciate about this relationship is a growing awareness of the challenges of delivering healthcare in a war-torn country, which, after 30 years of strife and war and dictatorship, is trying to emerge"

By Pfc J Princeville Lawrence
34th Red Bull Infantry Division PAO
25 Dec, 2009


Article source: http://www.theredbulls.org/article00530

Related story: http://wcco.com/health/basra.medical.school.2.1286886.html



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Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident

Posted: 2017-02-22  09:59 AM
NOREX youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.

As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.

"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."



To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter

Posted: 2017-02-21  01:25 PM
NOREX FTX HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.

It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.

"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."



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