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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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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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