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Minnesota National Guard
Pentagon has committed to paying bonuses to 2,500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers

The Pentagon has committed to paying bonuses to 2,500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers who are still owed them after a long deployment to Iraq several years ago

Military officials told members of Minnesota's congressional delegation Monday that the Pentagon has closed a loophole that hung up payments of about $10 million in the bonuses to soldiers in Minnesota's "Red Bull" 34 Infantry Brigade Those soldiers began a 22-month deployment in 2005 that kept them in Iraq for 16 months, the longest deployment of any infantry unit since World War II

"We're glad this is done, but I certainly hope there's no one pounding their chest over it," said US Rep Tim Walz, a Democrat from Minnesota who was one of several members of Congress to get involved in the issue "It should have been done a long time ago"

The Pentagon acted Friday to close the loophole, which came about because the military didn't announce bonuses for extra-long deployments until January 2007 That left it unclear whether the bonuses were intended to be retroactive

Though the military now says it is, several members of Congress from Minnesota said they're still waiting to hear when the checks will actually be cut

"Today's news is an indicator that the bureaucracy is moving, but the congressman looks forward to getting a definitive answer on when the Red Bulls are finally going to receive their long overdue bonus pay," said Troy Young, spokesman for US Rep John Kline, R-Minn Young said Kline hoped to get the answer Wednesday from Defense Secretary Robert Gates

Walz said he expected the checks would go out "within the month"

In all, about 22,000 National Guard members nationwide may be eligible for the bonus pay, according to the office of US Sen Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn That will mean about $59 million in bonuses to guard members, with the $10 million chunk to Minnesota's Red Bulls the largest

Capt John Hobot, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard, issued a statement Monday night saying the Guard is "very pleased" and will work to "promptly action the payments our Soldiers deserve"

Klobuchar, who also worked on the issue, said it should be "as soon as possible"

"A lot of these soldiers have been waiting and waiting," Klobuchar said "But this is a sign of good will"

15 Feb 2010
Article source: TwinCities.com • Pioneer Press



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Posted: 2017-09-20  08:33 AM
Winthrop WINTHROP, Mass. - Settled in 1630, Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the United States. Service members of all branches of the military from this seaside town just north of Boston have fought on behalf of their state and nation since the Revolutionary War. On Saturday, Sept. 16th, Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the commanding general of the Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, participated in a ceremony that honored one of Winthrop's own: Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Biggio.

Like so many young men of his era, 19-year old Winthrop native Andrew Giovanni Biggio raised his hand to volunteer for service in 1944. He was assigned to B Company, 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division. An infantryman, Biggio fought valiantly with the Red Bulls, liberating the Italian towns of Viterbo, Cecina and Liverno. His heroic actions in combat earned Pvt. 1st Class Biggio a Bronze Star Medal.



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Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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MAPLEWOOD, Minn.- Nearly 650 soldiers and airmen are scheduled to attend the Minnesota National Guard's third annual Women's Leadership Forum at the 3M Corporate Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.



Minnesota Guardsmen tasked for support to Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
133 AW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.



Minnesota National Guard to send aviation assets to support Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 2017-09-01  10:42 AM
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September 1, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Dayton has approved 11 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to support response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The soldiers will depart today from St. Cloud via CH-47 chinook helicopters to conduct aviation operations in Texas.

"I am glad that Minnesota will be able to assist the victims of the terrible tragedy in Texas, with 11 Minnesota National Guard soldiers accompanying two Chinook helicopters to join in relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota soldiers, who will travel to Texas to provide this critical relief. I encourage all Minnesotans, who are able, to donate to the qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist in any way we can."

The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade is an Army National Guard unit that supports disaster response operations by providing aviation capabilities - both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.



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