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“The outcome looked really good I didn’t see any hiccups,” said Cpl John Richter, a truck commander during the exercise for Charlie Company, 2-135 Inf
One infantry platoon and a mortar section from 2-135 Inf was provided to offer their experience to soldiers from 2nd Mechanized Battalion, Kuwait National Guard during the 3 days prior to the event
During the exercise 2-135 Inf reenacted retreating on the battlefield, while the 2nd Mechanized Battalion set-up and ambushed the enemy threats, which ultimately lead to eliminating the enemy element
The exercise was performed at such a notable standard Richter commented, “in all honesty this was the highlight of my deployment so far—there was a lot of moving parts and events we aren’t able to do back home on stateside training”
All soldiers executed a polished demonstration of tactical operations with flawless machine gunnery and artillery on the range, however this did not come easily
“The days leading up to this were long, but all the hard work paid off in the end,” said Richter a Winona, Minn, native
Throughout the event key leaders from both the Minnesota and Kuwait National Guard observed the event on an elevated platform While examining the well-rehearsed script, previous military experiences were shared
“As the United States Army we’ve had significant experience in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last ten years, so we can share our lessons learned, our expertise with some of these other countries including Kuwait because they have not had the exposure we’ve had,” said Maj Mike Pazdernik, 1/34 BCT training officer
The Kuwait National Guard employs several interpreters and American contractors to help facilitate their training They were amongst the soldiers during the entire exercise to assist in bridging the language barrier
“It’s one experience to train your Soldiers with that common culture, common language to train them on a task; when you’re trying to explain that through an interpreter, when you’re to work with someone who has a much different background to try to get the same point across it really reinforces what our Soldiers know because they really have to know and understand it to communicate it effectively across that language barrier through an interpreter,” said Pazdernik
After the live fire exercise, 2-135 Inf was invited to share an authentic Kuwaiti meal with the 2nd Mechanized Battalion
Pazdernik added, “At the individual soldier level this is a cultural experience that you can’t replicate anywhere else-it’s that opportunity to work with someone that has a much different background”
The leaders of 2nd Mechanized Battalion extended another invitation to have 1/34th BCT come back and potentially provide a whole company of Soldiers from the 2-135 when another Kuwait National Guard unit has reached the same point in their series of training programs
“This is a critical part of our ability to help the countries in the this region, including Kuwait, to be better postured and better capable of providing for their own defense as we move forward; our end state here is basically to work ourselves out of a job-it’s to allow these militaries to progress to a point where they’re capable of policing their own, defending their own,” said Pazdernik
21 Dec, 2011
Story and photos by Cpl Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.
Posted: 2017-04-18 01:42 PM ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.
"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."
There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.
Posted: 2017-04-14 04:25 PM ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.
"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."
Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.