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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
Article source
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/cities/archive/veterans/



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Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing Return home

Posted: 2014-10-31  10:55 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- Ninety-six airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing are scheduled to return next week to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.

"Our Airmen are coming home after a great deployment. Their diligence and constant strive for excellence showed in their efforts and accomplishments while deployed. Their high level of readiness paid huge dividends as they successfully flew and directly supported numerous C-130 re-supply and humanitarian airlift missions in the region. I am proud of each and every one of our Airmen and am glad all have come back safely to their families," said Air Force Col. Jim Johnson, 133rd Airlift Wing commander.



There's a lot to physical readiness training

Posted: 2014-10-29  12:32 PM
Army PRT CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- In 2010, the Army published the Training Circular (TC) 3-22.20, codifying a long-held view by many in the service that physical readiness training, PRT, is more than just pushups, sit-ups and running.

"The Army PRT System is performance-based, incorporating physically-demanding activities that prepare Soldiers and units to accomplish physical requirements," said Maj. Neal Wilson, Camp Ripley garrison safety officer.



Mentorship program now available to all Minnesota National Guard NCOs

Posted: 2014-10-25  03:22 PM
Mentors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- A program started in 2012 to help non-commissioned officers develop and progress in their careers is now available to all Minnesota National Guard non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the grade of E-5 and above.

The Minnesota National Guard mentorship program provides mentor support for NCOs who wish to further and enhance their careers and gain insight from experienced senior NCOs. The program is open to both the Army and Air National Guard.



Minnesota National Guard senior enlisted leaders share leadership knowledge and tools

Posted: 2014-10-25  01:40 PM
Senior Enlisted Conference CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Senior enlisted leaders from the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard gathered at Camp Ripley, October 25-26 to discuss leadership, mentorship, career development and the way ahead for Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard.

Along with discussions about leadership, the focus of many discussions was the changing environment due to military budget cuts and what that means for Service members. As budgets dwindle, personnel cuts are a very real threat that will force the Minnesota National Guard and all military organizations to identify and maintain only the best of the best.



Bearcats toast mission success

Posted: 2014-10-23  12:31 PM
Bearcat MAHNOMEN, Minn.- Soldiers, families and friends of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment attended the unit's annual Bearcat Dinner, October 18, 2014.

The dinner, a tradition for the battalion, celebrated the proud lineages of the unit, as well as highlighted the accomplishments they have made over the past year.

"We have devoted a great deal of effort to pay attention to our unit readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Haugen, admin NCO for the battalion.



114th Transportation Company Welcome Home Ceremony

Posted: 2014-10-22  03:53 PM
Minnesota National Guard CHISHOLM, Minn.- The Minnesota National Guard's Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company is scheduled to hold their 30-day reintegration event and welcome home ceremony Saturday at Chisholm High School after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

"A priority of the Minnesota National Guard is to improve the wellness and resiliency of service members and their family members," said Army Capt. Ryan R. Koester, 114th Transportation Company Commander.



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