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Minnesota National Guard
Team set to teach Afghan farmers

After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, the agricultural industry in Afghanistan faces many challenges, from weaning farmers off opium production to getting products to market on a reliable transportation system that isn't contingent on warlords deciding who gets through So what can a bunch of Minnesotans bring to that picture?

The Minnesota's National Guard Agribusiness Development Team - 2011, including a veterinarian, a hydrologist, and a livestock specialist, will deploy to Zabul Province in southern Afghanistan in October with a yearlong mission of providing education and support to farmers Using civilian skills unique to the National Guard, the teams have been operating in parts of Afghanistan since 2008



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The Minnesota team will include six female soldiers who are expected to help widows in the region, the most disadvantaged group in the province

"Our female members can get into places and talk to people where our male members cannot," said Col Eric Ahlness, the team's commander "There's all sorts of well-intended programs that have gone out that have been implemented by men that failed because they didn't understand what was going on in the households"

For two days in August, the team was given instruction on the developing agricultural cooperatives from some people who should know: Inver Grove Heights-based CHS, the nation's largest producer-owned cooperative Among the instructors was Ghafar Lakanwal, Afghanistan's minister of agriculture in the mid-1980s, and Jill Ewald, who grew up near her family farm in southern Minnesota and now is operations manager for the family's international agricultural management and production business, which includes a presence in Afghanistan

Ahlness went even further outside the box for other help, seeking out an Amish farmer experienced in working without modern amenities It will help in a place where 40 percent of the region lacks electricity

Mark Brunswick "ยข 612-673-4434
Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK , Star Tribune
Updated: September 9, 2011 - 7:32 PM

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http://www.startribune.com/local/129564528.html



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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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