/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Norwegian Exchange Farewell Banquet

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn  " Approximately 400 people were in attendance Feb 19, 2012 to bid farewell to the Norwegian Soldiers and youth who participated in the 39th Annual Norwegian Exchange program, which took place at Camp Ripley from Feb 9-23

The annual farewell banquet was held this year at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls, Minn "This is the first time we have held the banquet here, but the Soldiers and civilians all seemed to like the location very much," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dan Bednarek, Camp Ripley Community Relations Officer

 The farewell banquet is the culminating event for the exchange program  Notable civilian and military dignitaries on hand for the evening were the Minnesota State Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, the Norwegian Consul General Honorable Gary Gandrud and the Norwegian Defense Attaché, Col Roy Abelson

Download photos

"This was a fine program," said Consul General Gandrud  "It is always fun to talk to the Soldiers and youth from Norway who come over on this program"

During the evening's festivities, Brig Gen Neal Loidolt, Assistant Adjutant General for the Minnesota National Guard, gave a speech about the connection between Minnesota and Norway

"The country of Norway and the State of Minnesota share a long and proud history together"said Loidolt  He added, "Early Norwegian settlers who moved to the Mid-West were drawn to Minnesota because it reminded them of home  The landscape was familiar, the forests were plentiful, and the crop land fertile"  He joked, "Also the winters were no worse than at home " they weren't any better, but they weren't any worse" 

Later Lt. Col. Vidar Dahl, the officer-in-charge of the Norwegian contingent, introduced a group of Norwegian youth who displayed traditional costumes and dress from Norway  This was a big hit with the audience as they cheered and clapped for their favorite costumes 

The evening concluded with the traditional announcing of the best Norwegian youth platoon  This year the blue platoon took home the ceremonial honors to shouts of congratulations from the red and white platoons  

And with the exit of the official party, the 39th iteration of the exchange program closed  "Plans are already underway to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the exchange program in 2013," said Bednarek

Story by Maj John Donovan
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Officer

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