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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 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."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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