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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard artillery Soldiers secure Minot during flood operations

Minot, NORTH DAKOTA- The Minnesota National Guard is assisting their North Dakota National Guard neighbors in their flood response effort July 5-Aug 2 The Minnesota National Guard is conducting levee patrols, manning traffic control points (TCP), and quick reaction forces giving some relief to hundreds of North Dakota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen who have been on active duty for 40-60 days The first groups of Minnesota Soldiers are from the Willmar-based 682nd Engineering Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery from Montevideo

The 151st units comprising Team Thunder performed missions including traffic control points, roving guards, overseeing pumping stations, manning multi-function response teams and other missions as directed by the overall National Guard Task Force Minot These quick reaction forces respond to a variety of needs like high water fording, evacuations, dike patrol and discouraging sightseers and looters in Minot and surrounding communities

"We've assisted city officials in getting into key infrastructure areas like hotels, schools and malls, so they can get a head start on pumping before the areas open up," said 1st Lt Curtis Jerzak, the officer in charge of Team Thunder
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The homeowners in Minot, Burlington and other communities were very supportive and appreciative of the Soldiers in spite of the access restrictions Families that have lost their homes would still stop at the traffic control points with cookies, pizza and drinks for the Guardsmen


"The Guard is very important They are our front line of defense as we have our homes opened up, airing out," said Kevin Sebastian, an Eastside Estates homeowner


"It made you wish you could provide more for them than just their security," said Staff Sgt Brian Hesse of Team Thunder "We had a very good working relationship with the citizens They were very understanding even when they were barred from reentering their homes," said Jerzac "It got to a level where the Soldiers would actually have the phone numbers for the residents and would call them when their homes were accessible The Soldiers got to know the cars, the families and the kids from the neighborhood"


"One example of the interaction between our Soldiers and the civilians," said Jerzac, "was when we had a TCP in Burlington near the river where a family got a ride on an airboat to see their home which was completely devastated The mom had a little girl that was balling her eyes out It was a real sad story One of the Soldiers got some cookies and said "˜if it's alright with your mommy I'd like to give you these cookies' She looked up at him, stopped crying and got a big smile on her face It completely changed her day around"


Team Thunder Soldiers, many of whom volunteered for flood duty, hail from field artillery companies including the Montevideo headquarters, Marshall's Alpha Battery, Bravo Battery from Madison and Olivia, Charlie Battery in Morris and Ortonville, Echo Battery in Anoka and the 175th Forward Support Company in Appleton Team Thunder also included North Dakota Soldiers "The collaboration between the Minnesota and North Dakota Soldiers was outstanding You would not be able to tell we were from different units," said Jerzac "The professionalism of the Soldiers as well; the mayor and key city and Guard leaders commented on how well the Soldiers treated the them and the citizens when they visited the TCPs"


When the Minnesota National Guard has moved on to other community support missions, a few highlights of Minot Flood Response 2011 will be remembered "The thing I'm most proud of is that we allowed the North Dakota National Guard Soldiers, some have been on active duty for months, we gave them a break from the constant flood fight they've had this year," said Jerzac "There is also a piece of mind for the citizens knowing that there is an outside entity that is here watching out for their interests They see us driving around with our HUMMWVs keeping people out of the wrong areas; keeping their homes as safe as we can, so they are not looted or vandalized," said Hesse


17 July, 2011 Story and photos Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs




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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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