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Minnesota National Guard
TOC keeps flood fighters functional

Moorhead, Minn " The first thing anyone sees when he or she walks in the door of the Bearcat tactical operations center is a mission statement: "(The 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry) provides support to civil authorities by coordinating forces and resources within MN in support of spring flooding on Red River Valley (Area of Operations) in order to protect life, property and provide security"

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This opening manifesto serves as a clear reminder of the mission of the TOC, which serves as the epicenter of the Minnesota National Guard's response during Flood Watch 2010

"If anybody comes in here, we can give them a snapshot of what's going on," said Master Sgt James Bakkila, a native of Perham, Minn, and enlisted leader of the TOC

Inside the tactical operations center, or TOC, every aspect of the flood fighting operation is tracked and noted for the battalion commander

"All information comes through here on its way through," said 1st Lt John Shand, battalion engineer of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Combat Aviation

The TOC tracks and analyzes data on stability and support operations like route reconnaissance, traffic control points and air support This data can be displayed on one of the many screens and white boards within the TOC

Although flood fighting is a traditional role for the Minnesota National Guard, the Guard is not in charge Instead, Guardsmen assist civil authorities responsible for the state's emergency management plan

So whenever local authorities ask for aid, the TOC works through a liaison to get the local authorities the resources and support they need This may include dike patrols, sandbag crews and quick reaction teams to respond to citizen evacuations and dike breaches

"They tell us what they want," said Shand, a native of Lakeville, Minn, "and we analyze it and supply them what they need"

Written By Spc J Princeville Lawrence
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs





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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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