/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Driving a draw down

Camp Buehring, Kuwait-- The responsible withdraw of US forces and equipment from Iraq is more than a catchy phase Meeting the goals for the deadline and getting the troops home in a safe responsible way is uppermost in the minds of the troops

Spc Garrett Nelson, a combat engineer for Charlie Company, 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion attached to the 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, put in the role of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle driver for the duration of 1st BCT's deployment, is very vigilant when performing his duties in the drawn down

"Having to know the lives of all the guys in my truck are in my hands; I am really cautious and careful while driving," said Nelson, a Richfield, Minn native

MRAP vehicles are made with armor to deflect away any explosive ordinances projected toward the vehicle The same armor that makes these vehicles safe in ambushes or roadside bombing also makes them up to two thousand pounds heavier



Download photos

As a driver trainer, Nelson knows that the added weight can change the dynamics of handling when braking with air bakes, which he describes to all his trainees

"I make sure I explain the breaks well because a lot of people have never driven with air brakes," said Nelson "They're really touchy especially around turns; you have to slow down to be careful"

Although safety precautions need to be met at every corner while operating an MRAP, Nelson feels more experienced with every mile

"Training my fellow Soldiers behind the wheel gave me a lot more miles while training," said Nelson "It definitely helps you know your job in-depth having to train other people"

As Spc Nelson vigilantly carries out his mission in Operation New Dawn, other Soldiers benefit from his expertise

"Watching him drive mission after mission, I think I've gotten the hang of it--I've gotten a lot better driving the MRAP," said Spc Anthony Hendren, a combat engineer assigned as an MRAP gunner

Nelson has been in the Minnesota National Guard for almost five and a half years and said the military has always been something he was fascinated by

"I've been interested in the military ever since I was younger--when I saw Soldiers I knew that was what I was going to be in the future" said Nelson "I've always looked up to Soldiers"

He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard the summer after his junior year at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, Minn

"Once I got close to graduating from high school, I knew I needed some extra help for college and for the future--that was a definite plus to joining," said Nelson

Nelson enlisted before meeting his wife  However, she is just as supportive as any military wife Nelson and his wife were married in April of this year Although both of them knew the deployment was coming, it hasn't made it any easier on the two of them

"It kind of got tough when she found out she was pregnant, knowing that I would be gone during our son's first nine months of his life and even be gone while she was in her late stages of pregnancy--that was pretty rough on her," said Nelson

Their son was born on July 21st, just a few days before Charlie Company departed Fort McCoy to leave for Kuwait
"It was tough being in the United States and never being able to see him," said Nelson

He was given the opportunity to go home on leave Oct 17, where he was able to see his son turn 3 months old

"Those couple of months not being able to see him were kind of hard, but taking leave to go see him really helped," said Nelson

Nelson commented that his family is what drives him do his job well

"I think about my family a lot while I'm driving--that's one thing that helps keep me alert and focused," said Nelson "Knowing that, that's what I want to go back home to--so you have to stay awake, be vigilant and be aware"

As hard as it is to be away from his family, his peers respect him

"The biggest lesson I've learned from Nelson is to be more responsible--obviously he's already an adult and responsible, but he is becoming a leader and he takes ownership for his actions," said Hendren

With the current deployment almost halfway over for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Spc Nelson is pleased to call himself a "Red Bull"

"I'm proud to be a Minnesota National Guardsman, just with the huge role we've played over here in Iraq, especially with the numerous amounts of Soldiers Minnesota has deployed to Iraq," said Nelson "Our company alone, on the brigades last deployment over here, set so many records "It's a real honor to be a part of the draw down"

By Cpl Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
20 Nov, 2011






Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



Article archive
 
top