| 34th DISCOM deactivated and 347th Support Group activated
ROSEVILLE, Mn- The end of one era marked the beginning of another era when a dual ceremony deactivating the 34th DISCOM was combined with an activation ceremony for the 347th Support Group Dec 2 at the Roseville Training and Community Center
Maj Gen Rick Erlandson, 34th Infantry Division Commander, charged the 347th Support Group to continue the rich lineage of the 34th DISCOM
"This is a time for reflection for the accomplishments of the 34th DISCOM and also a time of celebration for a newly formed organization, the 347th Support Group," Erlandson told an audience of several hundred
Erlandson said that while change is challenging, the Minnesota Guard can be proud that the 34th Infantry Division and its supporting units have been the first to transform under the Army transformation plan for National Guard units
The 34th DISCOM was organized on Feb 22, 1959 It was reorganized and redesignated several times over its history and has had numerous subordinate units that have been part of the command structure
During the ceremony, the 34th DISCOM flag was sheathed by outgoing Col Charles Parins and outgoing Command Sgt Maj John McNamara while the new flag of the 347th Support Group was unfurled by incoming commander Col Shawn Kempenich and incoming Command Sgt Maj John Sands
"My vision for the Support Group is that we are a highly disciplined, standards-based, physically fit, combat-focused team ready to conduct combat operations and Joint Force Headquarters Force Protection," Sand said
"I will lead by example in all these areas I demand leaders at all levels do the same," Sands added
During the ceremony, red roses were presented to Mrs Peggy Parins and Mrs Sue McNamara while yellow roses were presented to Mrs Joan Kempenich and Mrs Tammy Sand
By Master Sgt Edwin Holt, Minnesota National Guard
Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build
Posted: 2015-11-25 09:37 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.
"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."
The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.
Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation
Posted: 2015-11-17 10:51 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.
The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.
"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.
Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader
Posted: 2015-11-16 07:47 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.
The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.
During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.
133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude
Posted: 2015-11-12 12:51 PM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.
On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.