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Minnesota National Guard
Bataan Death March survivor honored in Twins home opener

"It was a nice tribute," said Harold Kurvers, a Bataan Death March survivor  "I was so surprised when they asked me"

Kurvers was honored in pre-game ceremonies before the Minnesota Twins home opener Apr 9, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis  After the crowd game him a loud ovation, Kurvers raised the US Flag during the National Anthem

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After surviving the eight-day Bataan Death March in 1942 and spending time in prison camps in the Philippines, Kurvers and 1,600 others were herded onto a prison ship, the Oryoku Maru, bound for Japan in 1944

A day later, the ship was sunk by US aircraft, with the loss of more than 300 prisoners  Kurvers and others were transferred to another prison ship, the Enoura Maru When US aircraft damaged that ship, they were transferred to the Brazil Maru, which finally docked in Japan in late January 1945 Just 400 of the original 1,600 prisoners were still alive

Kurvers and the other prisoners of war were put in Japanese prison camps until finally being released at the end of the war in August 1945  Through it all, Kurvers often thinks about those that didn't make it

"I think of them a lot," said Kurvers  "They always refer to us as heroes, but the real heroes are still over there"

Kurvers credits his survival to his faith in God and his sense of humor  "It helped to have a sense of humor  It helped to get us through some tough times"

Raising the flag of his country before the Twins game was a real honor for Kurvers  It was extra special to have his daughter and one of his sons there to witness it

As Kurvers raised the US Flag to the top of the flagpole and as the National Anthem singers reached the last notes, four F-16 fighter jets raced across the sky  The F-16s, from the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, brought cheers from the crowd as they flew over Target Field

Members of the Minnesota National Guard also unraveled a 1,600-pound flag during the National Anthem  The US Flag, held by over 130 Soldiers and Airmen, covered the entire outfield of Target Field

It's hard to think of a better way open the Twins season than with the roar of fighter jets, unveiling a large US Flag and honoring a real American hero

By Master Sgt Rich Kemp
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
8 April, 2011


 





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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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