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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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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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