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Minnesota National Guard
Over and out: Delta 'Drifter' Company prepared to go home!

CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait -- The anticipation is so thick it can be cut with a knife, the excitement to return home is palpable It is a little like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas; everyone begins to think more of spending time with family, of traveling home to see loved ones


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Delta "Drifter" Company, along with the rest of the 500 plus Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor, are now nearing the end of the deployment to Kuwait, and they have turned their attention towards preparing to return to home stations within the following month For many of these Soldiers, time will drag more than normal this next month, during which each day will seem like a week, each week a month However, for those few Soldiers working within the logistical side of things, such as supply, they are experiencing what seems like a lack of time for all of the things needing to be accomplished

There are a significant number of tasks required to redeploy a unit back to the United States, many of which must be facilitated by logistics and supply personnel such as cleaning, organizing and preparing the paperwork for turn-in of property the units received once they arrived in Kuwait Additionally, it is logistics' responsibility to ensure all Soldiers personal equipment returns to home while maintaining 100 percent accountability of all items This is a tremendous challenge considering there are over 100,000 items shipped per company

When all of the equipment is shipped out, all that remains is turning in buildings and boarding a plane This is only a quick glimpse of what a unit must accomplish before returning home, as there are also many redeployment tasks facilitated by administrative and maintenance personnel Of course, it will not be all work, as many units, to include Delta Company, have planned a day to unwind as a team and relax before heading out

Once the wheels are up with Kuwait to the rear, the first stop on the way home will be at Camp Shelby There, each Soldier will spend some time going through medical and dental exams, while also ensuring all paperwork has been successfully completed However, the time spent at Camp Shelby will be short and Soldiers will be ever closer to returning home

Once home of course, time will take on new meaning! Soldiers will get time to spend with loved ones, rekindling old friendships, cultivating new friendships, and taking the time to do things they missed out on this past year Assuredly, each Soldier will greatly enjoy being home, and will be able to do so without constant sand and dust coating provided by the Kuwaiti desert From all of us from "Drifter" family, we look forward to seeing you all back home real soon!

23 March, 2012
Courtesy Story
1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division




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Mission Complete: Bearcats Finish NATO Exercise in Lithuania's Suwalki Gap

Posted: 2017-06-23  02:56 PM
Air Assault Saber Strike PABRADE, Lithuania - At the sound of 17 U.S. Army rotary wing aircraft humming through the air, Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, in addition to Service members of five NATO Allied countries, load onto Black Hawk, Chinook and Apache helicopters, at Kazlu Ruda airstrip during the Saber Strike exercise, June 17, 2017. The multinational effort came together to conduct an air and ground assault in the Suwalki Gap to demonstrate the nations' capability to respond to any hostile act of a potential adversary.

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The magnitude of the exercise set in as the first bird lifted off the airstrip and started moving toward the objective in a staggered formation. Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led NATO exercise meant to exhibit a strengthened partnership of the military assets of the NATO Alliance.



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Posted: 2017-06-22  10:25 AM
Saber Strike SPP PABRADE, Lithuania - Since 1996, the Minnesota National Guard and the Croatian Armed Forces have been partners in the National Guard's State Partnership Program. Beyond the bond of the NATO commitment, a mutual trust and unique bond has been forged amongst the warriors of each respective nation. From Camp Ripley to Karlovac, the soldiers have found a common cause of continuous improvement. Exercise after exercise, there has been a greater appreciation of one another's culture and customs.

You don't have to look to far to see this dynamic. When asked if he had ever worked with Minnesota National Guardsmen before, 1Lt Emanuel Hamer of the Croatian Armed Forces said, "This is my fourth time working with 2-136 "Bearcats," each time we grow closer and stronger. I feel like they are members of my unit. I'm glad I have this opportunity to learn new techniques and share some of our own with the Americans."



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Posted: 2017-06-20  02:14 PM
Saber Strike 17 PABRADE, Lithuania - As the sun begins to set on the Lithuanian countryside, the final touches are put on the camouflage netting designed to break the silhouette and conceal the position of the Tactical Action Center, or TAC, of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division on June 17, 2017. As part of the multinational exercise of Saber Strike '17, the 1/34th ABCT is providing support to the Air Assault Task Force Commander, Col. Charles Kemper.

As the first ever combined air and ground assault in the annual Saber Strike exercise, this year's exercise has set a milestone in testing the compatibility of seven nations and all military branches.

"We want to reassure all of our NATO Allies that we are in this together," said Kemper. "We're part of the team and we can demonstrate capability."



Minnesota Aviators complete successful eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise

Posted: 2017-06-20  08:30 AM
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The task force conducted aviation support missions including air assault, sling load, deliberate attack, defensive positioning and key leader escorts. They also conducted aviation-specific training in personnel recovery, downed aircraft recovery, field maintenance and air traffic control operations.



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