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Minnesota National Guard
Our first trip to Kuwait City

CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait " Our first trip to Kuwait City began on a chilly morning on the Jan 15, 2012 The wind was still, which actually was a blessing The temperature was cold enough that our breath could be seen rising into the air, and wouldn't you know it, my only civilian sweater needed to be washed My mood had already been somewhat soured before the trip had even begun because of this fact However, I still looked forward with anticipation to the trip ahead; as it was a good reprieve from the daily rigor I had become quite accustomed to at Camp Virginia

There were eight of us going on this trip and our moods all seemed to reflect the same excitement None of us had ever been into the city before and we had high hopes that our experience would be worth the troubles the morning had already brought



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The ride into the city started off slowly The scenery was the same for awhile, endless desert with very few signs of life It changed rather quickly once we drove for about twenty minutes Homes and buildings began to spring up out of the dust from nowhere I was taken aback by just how absolutely beautiful the buildings were Some of them were actually made of marble The mosques had towers that would reflect the sunlight, and they were everywhere It seemed the farther we drove into the city the more extravagant they became

Once we reached Kuwait City, any memories of our base had all but disappeared We were in a thriving, gorgeous, and wealthy city There was no dust to be found here, only green palm trees and floral arrangements along the busy highways The architecture of the city was enough in itself to allow for a sightseeing tour, but our first of three destinations was the Kuwaiti Towers The Kuwaiti Towers were located along the Persian Gulf and they consisted of three separate towers One was a monument, one a restaurant, and the last was a water tower The restaurant also held a lookout platform, which was continually traversed, completing its' cycles in about 30 minutes From this area, we could see the gulf and the city as it sprawled out along the coastline

The second destination of our tour was the Kuwaiti Aquarium This was in itself a pleasant visit, but seeing the elementary children that were on a field trip reminded me of home I was somewhat of a hit with these children, as they all wanted to wave to me and smile as they walked by It really didn't seem foreign at all It was as if I was in a building back home in Saint Paul Our final destination provided the best meal I have had in almost a year We went to a buffet-style restaurant, and the food was marvelous We all sat at a round table freely talking and eating, and it almost seemed as though we could just get into our car and drive home

We felt so completely refreshed when the trip was over The displeasure of the morning and the home sickness that I had been feeling since we left Minnesota was gone As we walked back into our company's area, I was greeted with questions about the trip I think my response was surprising to everyone that heard it "If there is another trip, I am going" This trip turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable moment for us, and it almost felt like we were right back home, if only for the moment

Story by 2nd Lt Addison Pennington
1st Platoon Leader, Delta Company, 1-194 AR (CAB)
Jan 15, 2012




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347th RSG units test unique capabilities during Combined Support Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-08-16  03:35 PM
347 RSG FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin - The 347th Regional Support Group commander and command sergeant major traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, 2017, to recognize several Soldiers training there.

The 204th Area Medical Support Company, 147th Financial Management Support Detachment and 247th FMSD are all conducting their annual training periods in neighboring Wisconsin, with their own mission-specific exercises that fall under the Combat Support Training Exercise taking place throughout the brigade.

The leadership duo of Col. Lowell Kruse and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson began their day with a stop at the 147th FMSD's training area, where they watched Soldiers participate in the Diamond Saber exercise. Throughout the event, the 147th FMSD - a 25-Soldier operation preparing for deployment - is exercising its dispersing, military pay and contracting functions in an interactive environment with actual customers to serve and transactions to process.



500 Minnesota soldiers notified for 2018 deployment

Posted: 2017-08-14  03:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2017

ROSEMOUNT, Minn.- More than 500 Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division headquarters have been notified of a possible deployment to Southwest Asia beginning in the fall of 2018.

"The Red Bulls maintain a high level of readiness, and over the next 12 months, our soldiers will train for this mission while also preparing their families and civilian employers here at home," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, 34th Infantry Division commanding general. "The official notification is an important step in the process of building readiness for an overseas deployment."

The planned deployment is expected to last up to one year. The notified units are based in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, and Faribault; however, the soldiers hail from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.



347th RSG trains to master tactical, uninterrupted sustainment support

Posted: 2017-08-10  08:14 AM
347 RSG CSTX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - After three busy days establishing a field command post and integrating units from across the country, the 347th Regional Support Group is underway with a three-week Combat Support Training Exercise during annual training at Camp Ripley.

It began with a Command Post Exercise on Aug. 8, 2017, but it couldn't begin until the tenants of "Tactical Assembly Area Victory" established meal service, sleeping arrangements, shower and laundry accommodations and, of course, the tactical command post.

"We do the exercise to make sure our equipment works, and once that is established we as a staff figure out how to sync together," said Sgt. Maj. Marc Dempsey, logistics operations sergeant major for the 347th RSG. "The exercise is for making sure we as a staff are working together as one team, with everyone knowing their role, for when we go into the main event."



Military kids participate in Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp

Posted: 2017-08-07  02:08 PM
Youth Camp CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Summer camp as a kid and young teen is usually filled with memories of campfires, swimming in the lake and BBQs. Camp Ripley Training Center hosted the Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp (MNGYC) for more than 200 military kids this year. The experience for the military kids who attend the camp relies heavily on donations and nearly 150 volunteers from around the state that come and spend the week with them.

Lindsay Koolmo is a volunteer and the executive director for the MNGYC. She is a military spouse, a volunteer firefighter and a mutations maintenance Tech Sergeant from the 148th Fighter Wing. She has taken upon herself for years to take time off her job and spend hundreds of hours throughout the year and more than two weeks at Camp Ripley to lead the camp.

Her affiliation with the MNGYC started early, in 1992 she was a camper, became a junior counselor, then was a junior counselor and then became an adult counselor.



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