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Minnesota National Guard
Army 10-Miler, Kuwait

Camp Buehring, Kuwait, played host to the Army 10-Miler satellite run Oct 2 Hundreds of deployed service members and civilians participated in the run The official Army 10-Miler is on Oct 9, in Washington, DC The Army 10-Miler was open to all service members deployed to Kuwait Morale, Welfare and Recreation on Camp Buehring planned and coordinated this year's event

"The bus left our camp at 3:30am to accommodate the start time and our drive time," said Staff Sgt Margaret Schliesing from Cambridge, Minn She rode an hour to participate from a camp in central Kuwait "Glad I did it It was an experience," said Schliesing, who is deployed with the 134th Brigade Support Battalion, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division from Camp Ripley, Minn



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Registration opened at 3:00 am Runners from all branches of the service showed up in civilian running gear or military physical fitness uniforms Staff Sgt Nicholas Kuffel, A Company, 2-135 Infantry Battalion, deployed to Camp Buehring, showed up to the 10-Miler with rucksack, weapon and Army Combat Helmet When asked why, he said, "I wanted to represent my unit" He was surprised he was the only one with a rucksack

Force protection officers and provost marshals officers were out in full force The figure 8 course took runners down and around the Camp Buehring base Runners fought light wind of 4 mph down before turning west to start the second loop The roads were blocked and did not open to traffic until the three hour run ended

Units deployed to Camp Buehring manned water stations along the course G Company, 700 Brigade Support Battalion, attached to 160th Field Artillery, from the Oklahoma National Guard, maintained water point 4 and created a festive atmosphere handing out water, cheering on runners and grilling brats

Kuffel, in all his gear, finished in 2 hours, 53 minutes "To the last man"


By Capt Sara Behr

134th Brigade Support Battalion




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Mission Complete: Bearcats Finish NATO Exercise in Lithuania's Suwalki Gap

Posted: 2017-06-23  02:56 PM
Air Assault Saber Strike PABRADE, Lithuania - At the sound of 17 U.S. Army rotary wing aircraft humming through the air, Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, in addition to Service members of five NATO Allied countries, load onto Black Hawk, Chinook and Apache helicopters, at Kazlu Ruda airstrip during the Saber Strike exercise, June 17, 2017. The multinational effort came together to conduct an air and ground assault in the Suwalki Gap to demonstrate the nations' capability to respond to any hostile act of a potential adversary.

"You could tell on everyone's faces that this was go time," said Sgt. Derrick Bruestle, a team leader for 2-136th CAB, also known as the Bearcats. "It wasn't just a training exercise to them anymore, it was a serious mission with real implications on the real world."

The magnitude of the exercise set in as the first bird lifted off the airstrip and started moving toward the objective in a staggered formation. Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led NATO exercise meant to exhibit a strengthened partnership of the military assets of the NATO Alliance.



Beyond NATO Commitments, MN State Partnership with Croatia Continues to Grow

Posted: 2017-06-22  10:25 AM
Saber Strike SPP PABRADE, Lithuania - Since 1996, the Minnesota National Guard and the Croatian Armed Forces have been partners in the National Guard's State Partnership Program. Beyond the bond of the NATO commitment, a mutual trust and unique bond has been forged amongst the warriors of each respective nation. From Camp Ripley to Karlovac, the soldiers have found a common cause of continuous improvement. Exercise after exercise, there has been a greater appreciation of one another's culture and customs.

You don't have to look to far to see this dynamic. When asked if he had ever worked with Minnesota National Guardsmen before, 1Lt Emanuel Hamer of the Croatian Armed Forces said, "This is my fourth time working with 2-136 "Bearcats," each time we grow closer and stronger. I feel like they are members of my unit. I'm glad I have this opportunity to learn new techniques and share some of our own with the Americans."



7 Nations, 4 Branches, 1 Mission; Saber Strike '17

Posted: 2017-06-20  02:14 PM
Saber Strike 17 PABRADE, Lithuania - As the sun begins to set on the Lithuanian countryside, the final touches are put on the camouflage netting designed to break the silhouette and conceal the position of the Tactical Action Center, or TAC, of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division on June 17, 2017. As part of the multinational exercise of Saber Strike '17, the 1/34th ABCT is providing support to the Air Assault Task Force Commander, Col. Charles Kemper.

As the first ever combined air and ground assault in the annual Saber Strike exercise, this year's exercise has set a milestone in testing the compatibility of seven nations and all military branches.

"We want to reassure all of our NATO Allies that we are in this together," said Kemper. "We're part of the team and we can demonstrate capability."



Minnesota Aviators complete successful eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise

Posted: 2017-06-20  08:30 AM
XCTC FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion wrapped up support for an eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, recently. The unit was part of Task Force Ragnar, the exercise's aviation element, supporting the Tennessee National Guard's 278th Armored Calvary Regiment as they prepare for a rotation to the National Training Center in 2018.

"Our mission is to support a brigade element here," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Otremba, with the 2-147. "But I think our ultimate mission is to train for an austere environment which sets us up for success at NTC next year."

The task force conducted aviation support missions including air assault, sling load, deliberate attack, defensive positioning and key leader escorts. They also conducted aviation-specific training in personnel recovery, downed aircraft recovery, field maintenance and air traffic control operations.



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