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Minnesota National Guard
55th CST Change of Command

June 3, 2011 was as a day of change for the 55th Civil Support Team, 84th Troop Command, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota National Guard in St Paul, Minn, as Commander Lt. Col. Jody Gunlock passed the lead to incoming Commander Maj Robb Mattila

Gunlock is retiring in June after 30 years of service beginning in 1981 as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne

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Mattila, who received his commission in 1995, was Assistant Professor of Military Science for the Saint John's University ROTC program as the Recruiting Operations Officer and most recently served as the Deputy Commander with the Croatian-Minnesota, Multi-National Combat Support Operations Mentoring and Liaison Team, in Afghanistan

Col William Lieder, commander, 84th Troop Command, passed the colors to Mattila as part of the ceremony to give him command of the CST He also awarded Gunlock the Meritorious Service Medal

"Since taking command Sept 29, 2008, Lt. Col. Gunlock has been an excellent example of the kind of leadership we have today by becoming the face of the 55th CST," said Lieder "This metaphorical face was fostered by creating relationships with the: FBI, US Coast Guard and Minneapolis Bomb Squad, to name a few"

Civil Support Teams perform duties in support of emergency preparedness programs to prepare for or respond to emergencies involving the use or threatened use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction, a terrorist attack or threatened terrorist attack that results in or could result in catastrophic loss of life or property, the intentional or unintentional release of nuclear, biological, radiological or toxic or poisonous chemicals that result in or could result in catastrophic loss of life or property, or a natural or manmade disaster that results in or could result in catastrophic loss of life or property


Story by Sgt John Angelo

Minnesota National Guard

Photos by SMSgt Mark Moss

133rd Airlift Wing




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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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