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Minnesota National Guard
Mental Wellness a top priority for Minnesota Guard's Aviation Brigade

"Life is full of kinks," explained Chaplain (1st Lt) Daryl Thul "And when you have kinks it's hard to keep going on"

Soldiers with the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade attended classes during annual training focused on stress management and how to utilize the tools of the military

As a pro-active approach, Thul created a course on how to understand stress called "A Framework for Understanding Basic Soldier Care"

"We shifted away from an "˜anti-suicide' to a more proactive "˜mental wellness' model a year ago and I think it is paying off in helping our Soldiers get help earlier," said Thul

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"Everyone, Soldier or not, has issues," said Thul "Anything our Soldiers are dealing with affects their service so we don't just care about them two days per month or only while deployed"

The Minnesota Army National Guard has coordinated services through many agencies to help leaders take care of Soldiers

"It is a priority, we treat all indications of possible suicide or personal harm with the highest priority," said Lt Col Shawn Manke, 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion commander "We are training Soldier to know where to get help and how to get help as well as leaders on how to offer assistance"

The thrust of the training involved helping Soldiers indentify what emotional states of being mean and at what levels of stress their problems need to be communicated Thul gave personal examples of how his stress affected his military career when he was an enlisted Soldier In the example, he explained how bad life decisions had led to adverse affects on what he was doing and how it led to his leaving the service

Soldiers were asked to share their personal stories of emotional times with others in the class This gave them a chance to relate to each other how they deal with their emotions

The class ended with a live demonstration, using a scene from the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" in which King Arthur confronts the Black Knight and must duel him to pass The skit was used to illustrate the concept of stress management

While the US Army has recently begun implementing resiliency training as mandatory requirement, Thul's class gives a more personalized approach to dealing with balancing the life of the Citizen-Soldier

By Sgt Nicholas Olson
34th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
27 June, 2011

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Minnesota National Guard to highlight diversity and leadership development at Women's Leadership Forum

Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, Minn.- Nearly 650 soldiers and airmen are scheduled to attend the Minnesota National Guard's third annual Women's Leadership Forum at the 3M Corporate Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.

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Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
September 11, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.

Minnesota National Guard to send aviation assets to support Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 2017-09-01  10:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Dayton has approved 11 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to support response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The soldiers will depart today from St. Cloud via CH-47 chinook helicopters to conduct aviation operations in Texas.

"I am glad that Minnesota will be able to assist the victims of the terrible tragedy in Texas, with 11 Minnesota National Guard soldiers accompanying two Chinook helicopters to join in relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota soldiers, who will travel to Texas to provide this critical relief. I encourage all Minnesotans, who are able, to donate to the qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist in any way we can."

The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade is an Army National Guard unit that supports disaster response operations by providing aviation capabilities - both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

'Highly Effective:' 148th Fighter Wing Excels

Posted: 2017-08-24  07:36 AM
148th FW DULUTH, Minn. - For four days in early August, a team of inspectors from the Air Combat Command's Inspector General team (ACC/IG) inspected, evaluated, verified and validated the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing (148FW) in Duluth.

The results were impressive.

From Thursday, Aug. 3rd to Monday, Aug. 7th, during the course of the 148FW's August Drill Weekend, nearly 50 inspectors flew up to northern Minnesota to take a closer look at the 148FW during a Unit Effectiveness Inspection (UEI).

Their white IG badges conspicuously dangling around their necks, the inspectors spoke at length with the 148FW Airmen, asking them about their training plans, and their file plans, their checklists and their ability to accomplish their given mission. Documents were reviewed, reports were validated and equipment was inventoried. The inspection was as thorough as it was exhaustive.

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