| 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 U.S. 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 Randolph.J.Belden@us.army.mil
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
682nd Engineer Battalion receives community send-off
Posted: 2015-10-09 01:25 PM
WILLMAR, Minn. - The sea of red in the Willmar High School gym Thursday was more than a show of support for the Willmar High Cardinals. Families and friends of the 682nd Engineer Battalion, wearing red unit t-shirts to Remember Everyone Deployed, gathered to send off the Willmar-based Minnesota National Guard unit prior to their departure for a deployment to Kuwait.
The more than 150 Soldiers from the 682nd's Headquarters and Headquarters Company and Forward Support Company will travel to Fort Bliss, Texas, for additional training prior to departing for Kuwait in November. The unit will be responsible for managing engineer sustainment operations across the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"We'll be deploying with horizontal engineers and vertical engineers so we can build across the ground or we can build upwards," said Capt. Michael Lovas, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company. "It really depends on what mission is given to us. We'll be flexible to those needs and as engineers we can adapt to whatever mission or projects necessary."
Minnesota Guard leaders inducted into Court of Honor
Posted: 2015-10-07 11:02 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Seven retired members of the Minnesota National Guard were recognized before their fellow service members as they were inducted into the Court of Honor, Oct. 4, 2015, at Camp Ripley.
"It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize these select leaders who have served our communities, state and nation with distinction," said Col. John Kolb, chief of staff for Joint Force Headquarters.
The Memorialization Board selects individuals for their service to the Minnesota National Guard as well as continued service to their communities. The board reviews the nominations received and forwards their recommendations to the Minnesota Adjutant General for approval. These inductees join the names of more than 300 others, since 1933, who have demonstrated their unwavering dedication, loyalty and distinguished service to the Minnesota National Guard.
Willmar National Guard Unit Set To Deploy
Posted: 2015-10-05 11:04 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2015
More than 150 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's Willmar-based 682nd Engineer Battalion will deploy for an eleven-month mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"The deploying Soldiers of the 682nd Engineer Battalion are eager to begin the deployment to Kuwait. This will be the first deployment for two-thirds of the unit, they are ready to create their own deployment experience," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, battalion commander.
"Our battalion will be part of Task Force Wild in Kuwait. As a Minnesota hockey fan that is pretty cool. Our battalion has the mission of managing engineer sustainment operations throughout the Middle East, meaning we manage road and building infrastructure maintenance for coalition forces," said Ferdon.
Minnesota combat medic training center named for famous WWII nurse
Posted: 2015-10-05 09:26 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard on Sunday dedicated its new combat medical training center in honor of Brainerd-native and famous WWII nurse Hortense McKay. She is the first female soldier to have a building named for her at Camp Ripley.
The Medical Simulation Training Center, which opened in May of 2014, specializes in training soldiers how to treat wartime wounded. It caters both to soldiers whose main role is being a combat medic (called "68Ws" in Army parlance) and to regular frontline soldiers looking to learn rudimentary lifesaving skills. Eventually, staff hope to train 2,500 people a year in the art of repairing bodies broken by combat.
Like the rest of Camp Ripley, the MSTC puts soldiers through the most stressful testing simulation possible. Strobe lights and loudspeakers recreate the distracting stimuli of combat, and the mannequins soldiers operate on display gruesome wounds that spew blood.