/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Norwegian Exchange brings relatives together

OLSO, Norway " For two distant relatives living over 4,000 miles apart, it was a chance to finally meet  The 38th Annual Norwegian Exchange program provided the opportunity for Senior Airman Ali Sonsteby, 133rd Airlift Wing Maintenance Squadron, to meet Gunnar Fridtjof Thurmann Sonsteby for the first time

"I am very thankful for this opportunity to meet Gunnar," said Ali "It was an amazing experience"

Download photos
Gunnar Sonsteby is the currently the most highly decorated person in Norway He was recognized for his work as a Norwegian resistance fighter during World War II His list of awards includes, but is not limited to the War Cross with three Swords, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav, Norwegian Defense Medal with laurel branch, Norwegian Police Cross of Honour, Distinguished Service Order, Presidential Medal of Freedom, the American-Scandinavian Foundation's Culture Award and he was the first non-American awarded the United States Special Operations Command Medal in 2008

"I was hunted by the Gestapo for five years and after five years they didn't find me," said Gunnar  "I guess they didn't win; I won," he added

While Ali was deployed with the 133rd Airlift Wing to Afghanistan in 2010, Gunnar came to United States for the signing of his book "Report From 24" While in the US, Gunnar made contact with Ali's aunt and met the Sonsteby family  Because of her deployment, Ali missed the chance to meet Gunnar

"I was disappointed that I did not get to see Gunnar when he came to the US in 2010, but I knew I had an obligation, he would have the patience to understand, to fulfill my military duty as an Airman," said Sonsteby

"Gunnar made a big impact in a war and here I am in a different one," said Alicia "Knowing his success makes me proud to be in the military and a part of my family"

Gunnar ended the meeting by autographing a copy of his book for Ali

Story and photos by Pfc Trisha Betz
1/34th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
18 Feb 2011

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.

Article archive