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Minnesota National Guard
Paving the way home

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait " Keeping the lights on, repairing sidewalks, moving barriers, and maintaining the grounds of Zone 6 is only part of the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team's small maintenance section's mission

In addition to being the Zone 6 "maintainers", the team of ten also does their primary military specialty of vehicle maintenance They had no idea what was ahead when they arrived to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in July 2011

Since their arrival, they have applied their civilian and military experience to the upkeep of Zone 6 at Camp Arifjan, the housing area for thousands of tenants Safety is a priority for the battalion commander, Lt Col Gary Mundfrom and the maintenance section has exceeded his expectations



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Daily operations of the maintenance section include turning on over 100 generator light sets before dusk and turning them off at dawn, maintain, order and stock the water points, and respond to all grounds issues and requests made by over 60 tenant units in Zone 6

"It may be a thankless job, but someone has to do it and it keeps the Soldiers safe," said Sgt Paulino Rodriguez, Hastings, Minn

The section is also the point of contact for ordering military vehicle parts for all the battalions in the brigade Ordering the parts and maintaining the forklifts, Gators, ATV's, Rangers, Bobcats, fixing thousands of meters of sidewalks and painting new signs is nothing short of a daily challenge

The maintenance section has also recently lent a hand to fellow Soldiers at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, by transporting 30 generator light sets to accommodate their sudden overflow of troops assisting the drawdown in Iraq

"It's good to learn how to do many different things, we can bring those back with us upon returning from deployment to our civilian jobs," said Staff Sgt Joseph Schwartz of Ramsey, Minn "We moved an entire generator farm from one location to another with forklifts!"

These are just some of the many projects the maintenance section has completed with many more to come including condensing the size of Camp Arifjan, Zone 6 before the brigades departure in the spring of 2012

Story by Sgt 1st Class Brittany Thingvold
1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division





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Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum 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."



Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors 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.



Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground

Posted: 2017-04-18  01:42 PM
Chaplain Shabazz 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.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

Posted: 2017-04-14  04:25 PM
Timberwolves 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.



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