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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard MEDEVAC deploys to Afghanistan

ST PAUL, Minn - Twenty-one Soldiers from Det 1, C Company, 171st General Support Aviation Battalion, Minnesota Army National Guard will leave Minnesota Sunday to prepare for a one-year deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 

"I can say with certainty that the mission you are about to undertake is extremely critical," said the Minnesota Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Richard C Nash "The troops on the ground are counting on each and every one of you to provide combat service support You have my full trust and confidence The full support of our state and nation and the Minnesota National Guard are behind you"

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"We focus a lot on the Soldiers, as we should," added Nash, "but know that you, the families are the backbone and the key support system for these men and women "¦ that supports them downrange"

"You are true American heroes, each and everyone of you," said the Minnesota National Guard Commander in Chief, Gov Mark Dayton, "for your willingness to serve our country and to protect the freedom which we cherish"

Highlighting the ceremony, Dayton then presented the unit commander, Capt Jeremy DeGier, with the Minnesota flag to be flown in Afghanistan and returned to Minnesota when their mission is completed

"The time has come again for our outstanding organization to take our place on the line, to carry the cause of freedom," said Col Mike Huddleston, the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade commander "As you prepare to leave your families, your employers "¦ go with the knowledge that I have full confidence in each one of you, you're trained, you're ready and you're eager to contribute"

"These Soldiers will provide medical evacuation support by use of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters while deployed," said Army Chief Warrant Officer Curtis E Skoog, standardization/instructor pilot for C Company These Soldiers will augment C Company, 1-171st General Support Aviation Battalion headquartered in New Mexico, said Skoog  The deploying Soldiers represent 18 communities throughout Minnesota and one community in Wisconsin

Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer
34th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
April 21, 2011
Ceremony audio.wmv

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