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Minnesota National Guard
Our View: Yellow Ribbon work isn't finished

Tuesday was a big day if you know a Red Bull The fourth and final wave of returning National Guard Soldiers belonging to Minnesota's 34th Infantry Division arrived home after a year-long deployment, most of it spent in southern Iraq

Over the last month more than 1,200 Red Bulls, as their unit is historically known, returned to family and friends at their home armories in Stillwater, Rosemount and Inver Grove Heights The returning Soldiers were missing three of their comrades - Carlos Wilcox, Daniel Drevnick and James Wertish were killed July 16, 2009 in an attack on their base in Basra, Iraq

But despite the heartache that unit members will carry with them after the death of three of their brothers in arms, there was still reason for the Red Bulls to smile as they came back to homecoming ceremonies worthy of their service and job well done

Although their year-long mission to assist Iraqi forces in improving their security for citizens in southern Iraq is now complete, ours isn't

News reports in the last week have revealed that more than 2,500 Red Bulls are owed $10 million in overtime pay by the federal government for their deployment three years ago Many of those Soldiers served again in the unit's most recent deployment On top of that startling news is word from Minnesota National Guard officials that up to a third of the returning Red Bulls will arrive home without a job waiting for them

Those two facts alone are enough evidence to deduce that these returning Soldiers and their families still need our support A welcome home ceremony is a wonderful way to express gratitude

But it means nothing if we as a community forget their sacrifice the next day, week or month

The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon projects of Woodbury and Washington County have made some tremendous strides in the last year to develop a network of support for families of deployed Soldiers

However, as these Soldiers and families try to regain that sense of "normal," we ask that those in the community who have not yet found a way to participate in the area Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign please do so

These men and women who hail from Woodbury, Stillwater, Cottage Grove, Lakeland, Lake Elmo and many other communities all over the state took a year out of their lives to serve our country overseas They put their civilian lives on hold to preserve our comfort, security and freedom

At the very least, we ought to provide some additional resources to help them transition back to civilian life
To find out more how you, your business or organization can help these returning Soldiers, go to the "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" Web site at wwwbtyrorg

Published February 10 2010

Article source: http://www.woodburybulletin.com/event/article/id/33980/group/home/

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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

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