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Minnesota National Guard
Community Honors Local Soldiers (video)

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Deployment day is fast approaching

A day when thousands of Minnesota's National Guard soldiers will leave for Iraq and Kuwait as part of the US drawdown phase of the Iraq war

And today the community of Albert Lea held a farewell party for those soldiers and their families

Family members of those with soldiers serving in the National Guard have been through a lot since hearing of their loved ones impending deployment

"This will be our fourth deployment so even with that being said, each deployment is different This time I have three children and they're all older this time I think it's probably easier when they were younger," says Tammy Estes, spouse of a deploying soldier

Jennifer Dahlen, also a spouse of a deploying soldier, says, "We have a lot of young spouses with young babies or are actually going to have babies when their husbands are gone"

The past few months have prepared them for what's to come but now it's all beginning to sink in

"Each family and each person goes through different feelings at different times and I'm more of the one that at the very end it kind of sinks in," says Estes

But they, along with their departing soldiers feel more secure knowing that they'll have the support of an entire community

"It's making it much easier to know that there's this thing or this entity that will take care of my wife when I leave She's a phone call away from getting support from the whole community," says Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Dahlen, of Delta Company

"It's great that in times of need the soldiers can concentrate on their mission and their families are taken care of so whether it's someone to shovel the snow or mow the lawn," says Estes

With their bags packed, the troops cherish nights like this one but are eager to move forward and look forward to when it's all over

"Unfortunately part of our mission is this federal deal where we have to go overseas and take care of what needs to be taken care of and I'm at the point of let's get this started so I can get home in a year," says Dahlen

The band that played for the troops and their families tonight volunteered their time and all the funds raised at the event will go toward helping the families of deploying soldiers

Posted at: 05/07/2011 10:52 PM
By: Andrew Lovelette

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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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