| Governor Pawlenty sends letter to Air Force Secretary regarding plan to move C-130s from Minnesota
Governor Tim Pawlenty April 2, 2010 sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley asking him to reconsider an Air Force plan to move a dozen C-130 cargo planes from Air National Guard units in nine states, including Minnesota, and 6 C-130s from Air Force Reserve units, to an active-duty unit in Arkansas
The Air Force plan is part of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2011 budget request and only recently came to the attention of lawmakers and governors Governor Pawlenty is the first governor to send a letter to Secretary Donley on the issue
Under the plan, two C-130s would be moved from Minnesota, one based at the Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing and one based at the Air Force Reserve's 934th Air Wing Governor Pawlenty wrote that the move "will negatively impact the operations of these two excellent units"
The 934th Air Wing, also known as the "Flying Vikings," is Minnesota's only Air Force Reserve unit
The Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Air Wing provides the US Air Force with tactical airlift of troops, cargo, and medical patients anywhere in the world The 133rd Airlift Wing is also prepared to support the State of Minnesota with troops capable of assisting in a disaster In 2009, the 133rd Airlift Wing deployed more than 300 Airmen to Iraq and Afghanistan In 2010, the 133rd Airlift Wing provided two C-130 H3 Hercules cargo airplanes, crews and support staff to support Haitian earthquake relief operations The C-130 crews flew missions to Port au Prince, Haiti and San Isidro, Dominican Republic, hauling water, personnel, equipment and other critical supplies totaling nearly 16 tons
For more information about the Minnesota National Guard contact Captain Randy Belden at RandolphJBelden@usarmymil
The Governor's letter to Secretary Donley:
The Honorable Michael B Donley
Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670
Dear Secretary Donley:
I write to ask that you reconsider the recent decision to move C-130 aircraft from the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to the Air Force, including two C-130s currently based in Minnesota
The decision to take aircraft from the Minnesota Air National Guard 133rd Air Wing and the Air Force Reserve's 934th Air Wing, based at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, will negatively impact the operations of these two excellent units
Furthermore, the Department of Defense's Governor Council was created precisely to assist the Department with this type of decision, but the Council was not afforded the opportunity to address this important issue If you choose to reconsider this decision, I urge you to take advantage of the Council's perspective in this matter
Minnesota is very proud of Minnesota's Air Wings and their perennial recognition as an Outstanding Air Wing by the Air Force Because of this outstanding service, I urge you to consider other alternatives, including active associate relationships that place active duty crews at the Air Guard and Reserve bases This approach would increase operational rates while maintaining jobs
As the Commander-in-Chief of the Minnesota Air National Guard, I know the impact they make in our state and the dedicated support they provide to our national defense For these reasons, I urge you to reconsider the decision to move C-130 aircraft from our Air Guard and Air Reserve
posted:April 5th, 2010
Article source: http://www.americantowns.com/mn/saintpaul/news/
Pawlenty: Keep military cargo planes in Minn.
Pawlenty: Don't move Air National Guard planes
Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM
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
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."
Norwegian youth train with Minnesota National Guard
Posted: 2017-02-16 10:52 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard experienced some of Minnesota culture along with focused military style training during the first week of NOREX 2017.
The U.S.--Norway reciprocal Troop Exchange, which began Feb. 9, 2017, annually swaps approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard soldiers as well as youths to experience each other's training, military lifestyle and most importantly, culture.
"It's rewarding interacting with more young people eager to learn about a new lifestyle and culture," said Capt. Brett Farniok, Youth Platoon Officer-in-Charge.
Warmly welcomed, U.S. contingent arrives in Norway for NOREX 44
Posted: 2017-02-12 01:38 PM
CAMP VAERNES, Norway - Following a muster at the 133rd Airlift Wing and an eight-hour overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 100 Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard finally arrived in Norway to conduct the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange on Feb. 9, 2017.
While the U.S.-based Soldiers were warmly greeted by members of the Norwegian Home Guard at Camp Vaernes, a similarly-sized group of Norwegian Home Guard members were received at Camp Ripley Training Center. The arrival of military members from both countries to their host nations formally began the annual exchange, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to become fully-immersed in foreign military and social culture.
"Though I didn't know what to expect before getting here, they have been very welcoming," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Taylor Hanson, a member of the 148th Fighter Wing. "They are making sure we had everything."