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Minnesota National Guard
Neighbors working together

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Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard assist in clearing levees from Third Street in Minot, ND, on July 8 This action will enable the Third Street Bridge to reopen One hundred and twenty soldiers from the Minnesota Guard are assisting the North Dakota National Guard in the Minot area with their efforts fighting against the flood waters of the Souris River through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (Photo by: Spc Cassie Simonton)





MINOT, ND--The assistance provided by the Minnesota National Guard during the 2011 flood fight in Minot has been an invaluable asset to the North Dakota National Guard, who has been engaged in flood response operations in the central region of the state for almost 50 days Minnesota has deployed 120 soldiers to assist in the Minot area in the first of two rotations

The Minnesota Guard became engaged in the flood fight through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact They are assisting with the removal of sandbags and levees, operating traffic control points and conducting security patrols in evacuated areas

"The Minn Guard soldiers have displayed an excellent attitude while assisting Minot during this disaster", said Command Sgt Maj Norman Deschene, of the Devil Lake based 136th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion "They are tackling their missions with a commitment to do the right thing, being helpful to citizens and take care of Minot"

Lt Nathan Sokolowski, with the Litchfield, Minn, based 849th Mobility Augmentation Company, is the officer in charge of the unit's engineering operations in Minot

"Instead of building up defenses against the flood waters, we will begin tearing down, thus helping the community return to normal," said Sokolowski "As the flood waters recede, our primary mission will be debris removal"

Sokolowski said that they had cleared out 116 one-ton sandbags in one day as a part of the cleanup mission Since the Black Hawk helicopters left Minot, there was no reason to keep the large sandbags ready for aerial placement After disassembling the sandbags, the sand was returned to the city's public works division

In spite of minor state-to-state differences, Sokolowski found the commonality in the Army bond enabled his unit to work smoothly with the North Dakota Guard

"We felt like we were North Dakotans ourselves," said Sokolowski "I'd like to personally thank the North Dakota engineers and the Guard's Task Force-Flood for their great support"

Sgt First Class Chris Swoboda, a soldier with the Minnesota National Guard's 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery Regiment, serves as the non commissioned officer in charge of that unit's missions in Minot and agrees with Sokolowski

"Communication with the North Dakota Guard has been outstanding," Swoboda said "It seems like we've been working together for years"

The initial group of Minnesota soldiers is scheduled to be in Minot for two weeks, making it easier for civilian employers and family back home This first group of soldiers will be replaced by a follow-on contingent in mid-July

"This is my fifth tour of state active duty this year," said Slobodan "The flooding here is one of the worst disasters I've seen but I'm glad I could come to North Dakota and help"

Slobodan also commented on the accommodations at the Minot High School's Magic City Campus

"This is one of the nicest working and sleeping facilities I've stayed on any active duty," said Slobodan "We've received great community support during this duty"

He cited the small things that really make a difference making the Minnesotans feel welcome For example, community members constantly restock the common areas near their sleeping quarters with snacks and drinks for the Minnesota Guard soldiers to make their stay as comfortable as possible as they assist Minot in its flood fight

Story by Army Spc Cassie Simonton
116th Public Affairs Detachment
8 July 2011

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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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