Minnesota National Guard
Water receding in Fargo, but rural areas still threatened

by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
April 10, 2011

Fargo, N.D. — The Red River continues to fall in Fargo-Moorhead, but overland flooding is surrounding hundreds of rural homes and farms.

The high water in the Red River is forcing some tributaries to back up in rural areas.

Get the latest flood news on our flood blog.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said the county has not had to evacuate any residents, but travel is very difficult.

"We have probably 60 roads that have been washed out or have water on it," Bergquist said. "Things are getting a little better, I guess. The river is dropping a little bit, but the overland is still causing some problems."

North Dakota National Guard troops rescued an 87-year-old man north of Fargo Saturday after the sandbag dike around his home failed.

Highway 75 is closed in Minnesota near Georgetown and Halstad. In North Dakota, Interstate 29 is flooded for several miles north of Fargo.

High water will plague rural areas of the Red River Valley for several weeks as the river crest slowly rolls north to Canada.

The National Weather Service said high winds this afternoon could raise one to two foot waves in flooded rural areas. The wave action could erode roads and levees.

"So anybody with both clay and sandbag levees, temporary type structures, it's a tenuous time frame with rain occurring and wind occurring," said NWS meteorologist Greg Gust.

In Fargo and Moorhead, National Guard troops are still monitoring levees holding back the river.

Lt. Col. Mark Wiens says 218 Minnesota Guard members are deployed in Clay County. They are patrolling levees and staffing teams to respond to any leaks.

Wiens said with rain falling and the river still high, levee patrols are critical.

"Within Moorhead over the last 24 hours we've had two such incidents where our patrols were able to identify what were small leaks that city engineers were able to come and make a determination and make immediate corrections," Wiens said.

Wiens said the Guard expects to stay in Moorhead until late this week.

The National Guard will also send troops to Oslo on Monday as floodwaters rise and cut off access to the community north of Grand Forks.

The NWS said Sunday that the river reached a preliminary crest of 38.75 feet at 6:15 Saturday evening in Fargo-Moorhead. The river stage was 38.56 feet Sunday morning.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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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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