/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Train like you fight; Vigilant Guard scenarios prepare participants for the worst

Earthquakes, tanker trucks leaking toxic fumes, riots, tornados, cyber attacks, mass casualty from a chemical plant and floods all happening at the same time  No it is not the end of days or Armageddon  It was Operation Vigilant Guard, an exercise happening simultaneously across the United States

The exercise is a multi-state exercise that is designed to improve the interstate and inter agency workings between the National Guard and local, state and federal emergency responders   Wisconsin was one the many states involved and hosting these scenarios  The Wisconsin Vigilant Guard exercise took place May 14 through May 20 at various locations including Milwaukee, Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution and Volk Field

At Volk Field, members of the Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio National Guard, as well as local responders, were busy with a scenario that involved tornados touching down in La Crosse on the edge of the university   The Ohio National Guard members where playing the roll of the Homeland Response Force (HRF)

The HRF provides command and control of multiple Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERF-P)s At Volk Field the CERF-P is from the Minnesota National Guard The CERF-Ps provide immediate response to the governor including: incident site search, capability of damaged buildings, rescuing trapped civilians, providing decontamination and performing medical triage and initial treatment to stabilize patients for transport to medical facilities

Download photos
In the scenario, the Minnesota National Guard responds to the outbreak of tornados in La Crosse because the Wisconsin National Guard is already responding to the massive earthquake that has happened along the Ohio River Valley  Minnesota was able to respond in Wisconsin because of an Emergency Management Compact between Minnesota and the bordering states

The Minnesota National Guard’s CERF-P includes members from the both the Army and Air National Guard  Soldiers from the 682nd Engineer Battalion and 434th Chemical Company provide command and control, search and rescue, and decontamination  Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and 148th Fighter Wing provide medical support during search and rescue, medical treatment and triage, and mortuary services

One of the things that an exercise of this caliber allows is being able to work with the different units and agencies

“It’s good to see the information sharing and seeing how other states do things,” added Lt. Col. Sol Sukut, CERF-P commander “During the mission there isn’t “Airmen” or “Soldiers” there is “CERF-P,” it is a unique opportunity to be in command of a team that is both Air Force and Army and civilians”

One of the many things that the Minnesota CERF-P did during the exercise was to mentor 28 members of the Wisconsin National Guard CERF-P in Madison  The Madison CERF-P learned equipment facilitation, medical procedures, team interaction, logistics and supply, medical command and control and many other aspects of CERF-P inter-element operations

Operation Vigilant Guard was part of the larger National Level Exercise 11, a training scenario about responding to a 65-7 magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid fault line This exercise involved more than 40,000 National Guard members working with active duty Service members and federal and state emergency personnel in the successful execution of the largest interagency exercise ever

Being a CERF-P member can be stressful and labor intensive

“The dedication of these Soldiers and Airmen is amazing,” said Sukut, “regular Guardsmen train 24 days throughout the year and two weeks during the summer  CERF-P Service members usually train over 30 days more during their first year on the team and then an extra two weeks every year”

Sukut felt that the training was very rewarding and realistic 

“You gotta train like you fight,” said Sukut “We relish the opportunity to come to Volk Field and be part of Operation Vigilant Guard“

Story and photos by Army Sgt Johnny Angelo
Minnesota National Guard
17 May, 2011





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



Article archive
 
top