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Upon completion of their mission, 10 gun trucks operated by 2nd Platoon Soldiers of Charlie Company, 1/34th BSTB drove into their home station at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
With orders to go directly to the Armor of God, a large overhang in which pre-mission inspections are completed, the Soldiers cleared their weapons and proceeded down the gravel road As they made their turn, chemical luminescent sticks (chem-sticks) whirled around on strings above the remaining Charlie Company Soldiers' heads that lined the 200-meter path to the overhang Many chem-sticks were thrown onto the trucks, giving them an evergreen glow
The trucks pulled in and as the Soldiers exited their mine resistant armor protected vehicles they were greeted with handshakes, smiles, and music Each member of the company was afforded one non-alcoholic beverage Some had brought congratulatory cigars.
After some brief socializing, the company commander, Capt Peter DeCrans, called everyone to gather around him DeCrans explained the nature of the celebration to the company.
The return of 2nd Platoon had marked the completion of the company's final convoy escort mission to Iraq The squadron compiled over one million miles and moved thousands of truckloads out of the combat zone The mission was declared a great success and milestone in the history of the unit
After the gathering, the Soldiers lingered a while to exchange stories and enjoy the celebration With much still to do, the returning platoon continued on with their typical after-mission routines of fueling up and parking the trucks, unloading gear, and turning in sensitive items.
With convoy operations completed by Dec 31, the company will look to focus on training for the remainder of the tour Proficiency in weapons, warrior, and military occupation specialty skills will be emphasized
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
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."