Minnesota National Guard
The Cities Category Archive: Veterans

Troops showing signs of strain after nearly 10 years of war

The nation has about 12,000 special operations forces deployed around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. But after nearly 10 years at war, commanders this week said they're worried about the toll repeated deployments are taking on troops and their families.

Minnesota's Army National Guard 34th Infantry Division, known as the Red Bulls, are preparing for another deployment. Maj. Gen. Richard Nash announced recently that about 2,400 soldiers are expected to start training in May and head to Kuwait, where they will provide security as US troops pull out.

This will be yet another deployment for many of these soldiers, who've already served in Iraq or Afghanistan over the last several years.

From the AP's Lolita C. Baldor's story on concerns about the effects of repeated deployment on special operations forces:
Adm. Eric T. Olson ... said the demand for the specialized units in Afghanistan is insatiable, forcing troops to deploy to war at a rate that is off the charts. And he said he does not see that demand declining in the next several years. Officials say they are taking measures to ease the strain on service members and families and devoting more resources to programs for wounded and ill service members.

Scientists at the Minneapolis VA have been studying National Guard soldiers to try and pinpoint why some people are more resilient to combat stress than others, and to research the connection between PTSD, TBI, concussion and other things.

They expect to release more findings this spring.

Posted at 12:10 PM on February 9, 2011 by Jessica Mador
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682nd Engineer Battalion receives community send-off

Posted: 2015-10-09  01:25 PM
682nd Deployment 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
Court of Honor 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
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2015

WILLMAR, Minn.- 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
MSTC Zach Kayser 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.

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