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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard, Croatia Train for Afghanistan Deployment

Minnesota and Afghan soldiers train for room-clearing operations� 
Working with Minnesota National Guard Soldiers, Afghan National Army soldiers prepare to clear a room during an Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team training exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany Sixty-five Afghan soldiers participated in OMLT training at JMRC to help prepare US and multinational troops to deploy to Afghanistan as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force The OMLT will help with the ISAF mission of assisting the government of Afghanistan in establishing and maintaining a safe and secure environment (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Walker, Joint Multinational Readiness Center)

Members of the Minnesota National Guard are currently preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan as part of an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team with the Croatian armed forces

The OMLT is an extension of the National Guard State Partnership Program in which Minnesota and Croatia are paired Together they will coach, teach and mentor a battalion of the Afghan National Army

"We're learning the state of the Afghan Army," said Army Maj David Baer, who works in Minnesota's Joint Force Headquarters "Obviously, [the Afghan Army] has units that are exceptionably well trained and capable of executing missions "¦ but we're also learning about the other units that need that mentoring and coaching from the advisor teams"

Having the members of the Afghan National Army at the training center in Hohenfels, Germany, is a vital part of the training, Baer said in an interview with the Joint Multinational Readiness Center public affairs office

"Having them here so we can actually talk to Afghan soldiers about Afghanistan, the situation on the ground, the Afghan Army and the culture-before we get over there-is vital to our mission success," he said

The Minnesota Guard isn't the only group learning from the training

"The training is very good," said Afghan National Army Lt. Col. Ahmad Ali "We will surely use this training in Afghanistan to help [us]"

The OMLT program is part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force's effort to help develop the Afghan National Army and is made up of 27 nations, which have or have pledged to contribute to the program

� "We are one team," said Baer about working with Croatia Armed Forces "We are training hard here so that our [operational procedures] and reaction drills are the same, whether it's a Croatian or American"

"Luckily, Croatian tactics and doctrines are based off of American tactics and doctrines, so it's just little things here-and-there that we have to work on"
As of October 2009, there were 59 OMLTs operating in all five regions of Afghanistan, according to a NATO fact sheet

The Ohio Guard and Hungary are also training for a deployment to Afghanistan The Illinois Guard and Poland are currently deployed, and the Colorado Guard and Slovenia will deploy later this year

National Guard Bureau� 
Sgt Darron Salzer� 
ARLINGTON, Va, June 3, 2010� 

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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."

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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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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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