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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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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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