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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Battles Pagami Creek Wildfire

At the direction of Gov Mark Dayton, four Minnesota National Guard UH-60 "Black Hawk" helicopters, along with Army and Air National Guard Aviation support teams, began assisting the ongoing firefighting efforts Sep 13 within the Pagami Creek region of north eastern Minnesota

According to the U S Forest Service, the more than 100,000 acre wildfire has been burning since Aug 18 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, along with several smaller fires to the east and north in Canada

The fire started when a lightning strike ignited the blaze While the fire burned in a relatively small area during the first few weeks, high winds and low humidity spread it over 80,000 acres in a single day



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Smoke plumes from the massive fire traveled as far as Chicago, nearly 500 miles away Campers evacuated from the area reported seeing 200 foot-high tornados of flame engulfing trees within seconds

The four Black Hawk helicopters, equipped with 660 gallon 'Bambi Buckets', have dropped more than 400,000 gallons of water on the blaze

"Our crew members are training every year with other agencies around the state, including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, for this type of mission," said Army Captain Jon Andrews, officer-in-charge of the helicopter detachment "It's great that, even with more than 3,000 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed around the world right now, we are still able to support the citizens of Minnesota in this mission"

Unpredictable weather conditions in the area have helped and hindered the firefighting efforts High turbulence over the wildfire repelled the pilots on the first day Hail and sleet also grounded crews for several hours on the second day, but also brought the fire to a smoldering standstill

After assisting with the firefighting mission, the helicopters and crews returned to their home stations today

"As we know, we can always count on the Minnesota National Guard to answer in crisis, the needs of their fellow citizens, and they've done so once again, heroically," said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton



By Staff Sgt Ben Houtkooper

Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs




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Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



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."



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