| 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
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.