/*********************************************** * 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
Red Bulls wrapping up deployment

As the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division prepares to leave Kuwait and travel back to Minnesota, the battalions working under the brigade case their colors as they wrap up their deployment

The 1/34th BCT's 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor held a ceremony April 10 and the 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry on April 3 to celebrate a triumphant end to an important mission

Download photos

The mission accomplished by 1-194 during their deployment was a historic feat, which was vital to the drawdown of US Soldiers and equipment from Iraq They worked around the clock day after day to keep travel routes safe

Sgt Chad Swenson from Elk River, Minn, was a gunner on one of many convoy escort teams the 1-194 provided For miles through the dark, hours at a time, Sgt Swenson provided constant security as his convoy traveled over the highways of Iraq

"It was ending a war It means a lot in general just to bring everybody home," Swenson said, describing his feelings about the 1-194's mission

During a ceremony held at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, Maj Tadd Vanyo and Sgt Maj John Lepoqski put away the battalion colors 1-194 closed an important chapter in their history as the command team prepared the battalion colors for the journey back home

The 1-94 CAV wrapped up their mission in Kuwait with a casing ceremony Apr 3 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait Col Eddie Frizell, 1-94 CAV commander and Command Sgt Maj Daniel Essig, the command team of 1-94 CAV, cased the colors as Soldiers and leaders of the 1-94 CAV looked on

During the withdrawal of troops and equipment from Iraq, the 1-94 CAV performed convoy escort missions and traveled over one million miles

"To see that the war is over is an amazing thing to be a part of," said Maj Mark Lappegaard, 1-94 CAV executive officer "Having everybody come back safe and seeing that all these Soldiers get to go back home is a great thing"

The largest deployment of the National Guard Red Bulls since World War II, the 1/34th helped complete the largest logistical drawdown in history, and continued to honor the Red Bull legacy

Once the wheels are up with Kuwait to the rear, the first stop on the way home will be at Camp Shelby, Miss 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 to Minnesota

April 10, 2012
Story and photos by Pfc Linsey Williams
1/34th BCT Public Affairs

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build

Posted: 2015-11-25  09:37 AM
WVI H4H ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.

"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."

The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.

Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation

Posted: 2015-11-17  10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: 2015-11-16  07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: 2015-11-12  12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

Article archive