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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard partners with Croatia to mentor Afghan Soldiers

The Minnesota National Guard announced today that 12 Soldiers, led by Army Maj John P Wisniewski, would deploy to Afghanistan as part of the fifth Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT) This joint team is part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and an extension of the State Partnership Program which began in January 2009 with the deployment of the first advisor team

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"This is the fifth group deploying to coach, teach and mentor an Afghan National Army battalion in order to increase the overall capabilities of the Afghan Security Force," said Army Sgt Ryan J Melek, communications support specialist for the team "I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the Minnesota National Guard in concert with the Croatians to provide training and mentoring for the Afghan National Army"

The official party included Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and Col Kevin Gerdes, Deputy Commander, 34th Infantry Division

Solon recalled visiting Minnesota National Guard Soldiers in Bosnia to observe the peacekeeping mission in 2005

"When I traveled to the Balkans, Croatia was a nation who was still overcoming the scars of war and establishing its own credible security force," said Solon "But over the years " and with hard work and training with the Minnesota National Guard " Croatia was able to fully professionalize its military into a force worthy of being paired with you for this important mission"

Solon expressed her excitement for the state partnership and how it can serve as an example to the Afghan Soldiers

"If they work hard, stay focused, and disciplined, they too can overcome decades of tyranny and aspire to be in a respected position in the world," said Solon

The Soldiers are scheduled to relieve the fourth Operational Mentoring Liaison Team in the northern half of Afghanistan sometime in January, after a brief train up period in the US and Croatia, and are scheduled to be gone for no more than a year

The Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams aid the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in their mission of assisting the Government of Afghanistan in establishing and maintaining a safe and secure environment ISAF's key military tasks include: assisting the Afghan government in extending its authority across the country, conducting stability and security operations in co-ordination with the Afghan national security forces, mentoring and supporting the Afghanistan National Army and supporting Afghan government programs to disarm illegally armed groups

Story and photos by Sgt Dajon Schafer
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
7 July, 2011

 





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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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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