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Minnesota National Guard
148th Fighter Wing announced awards

The Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth announced the following awards

Master Sergeant Christian Beckstrom, an Aircraft Armament Specialist, was named the 2011 148th Fighter Wing Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (Sr NCO) of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Beckstrom continued to excel as an armament specialist, served as a mentor for junior airman, and volunteered his time by marching in two parades and participating in the 148th Adopt-a-Highway Program Beckstrom is a 20-year veteran and had deployed 13 times worldwide; three deployments were to Balad Air Base, Iraq Beckstrom graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and works as a project officer for an electrical engineering company in Plymouth, Minn

Master Sgt Mark W Watczak, an assistant fire chief with the 148th Fire Department, was presented with the Chief Albert Fitzpatrick Award for his accomplishments during 2009 This award is given by the Air National Guard Fire Chief’s Association
During this period, Watczak, a 20-year veteran with the Minnesota Air National Guard, served as the 148th Fire Department fitness monitor, assistant chief of operation for the 2009 Air Combat Command Operational Readiness Inspection and served as a full-time firefighter for the city of Richfield, Minn He was recognized by the city of Richfield for his bravery in saving the life of a woman trapped in a burning vehicle He also serves as the city of Richfield’s key child safety seat technician and teaches numerous CPR/AED certification classes throughout the year In addition, he piloted a fitness awareness program called Walking Wednesdays at his daughter’s elementary school

Technical Sergeant Frank Bucar, a supply management specialist, was selected as the 148th Fighter Wing 2011 Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Bucar processed nearly 11,000 receipts of incoming Air Force property, represented the 148th Fighter Wing at multiple parades and served on the Wing’s recognition committee In addition to his military accomplishments, Bucar performs with Change of Pace Productions and with the Singing Slovenes Bucar of Duluth works full time with the 148th Fighter Wing

Senior Airman Andrew Ames, an aerospace medical services journeyman, was named 2011 Airman of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Ames balanced college classes, work and volunteering, all while supporting his duties with the 148th Fighter Wing As a medical services journeyman, he administers immunizations, checks vital signs and assists military personnel preparing to deploy Ames served as a member of the Bulldog Enlisted Council, where he helped new members prepare for the intense physical and academic challenges of basic military training Ames of Duluth is a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science He also works as a phlebotomist at Essentia Health St Mary’s Medical Center

Master Sergeant Jeremiah Graves was named First Sergeant of the Year for his accomplishments in 2010 During this period, Graves deployed to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, as a civil engineer responsible for runway and ramp maintenance at a high volume military airfield Graves is responsible for the morale, welfare and conduct of all the enlisted members in his area and is the chief adviser to the squadron commander concerning the enlisted force Graves also completed the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy Course during this time Graves of Duluth works full time for the Duluth Police Department

Master Sergeant William Hawley was selected as the 2010 Air National Guard Security Forces Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Hawley is a member of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron He was also selected as the 2010 148th Fighter Wing and Minnesota Air National Guard’s Senior NCO of the Year for accomplishments in 2009 Hawley is a police officer for the city of Ely In the past year, more than 80 hours were devoted as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor, along with many hours spent assisting his local VFW Post In addition, he has completed the Grandma’s Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon twice, and completed two triathlons this year


Master Sergeant Jeremy Hill was selected as the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant Hill joined the 148th Fighter Wing in 1999 after serving with the Marine Corps As a member of the 148th, Hill has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle He lives in Duluth and is employed as a full-time jet engine mechanic at the 148th Fighter Wing

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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

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