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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
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.
As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.
"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."
Posted: 2017-02-21 01:25 PM HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.
It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.
"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."
Posted: 2017-02-16 10:52 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard experienced some of Minnesota culture along with focused military style training during the first week of NOREX 2017.
The U.S.--Norway reciprocal Troop Exchange, which began Feb. 9, 2017, annually swaps approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard soldiers as well as youths to experience each other's training, military lifestyle and most importantly, culture.
"It's rewarding interacting with more young people eager to learn about a new lifestyle and culture," said Capt. Brett Farniok, Youth Platoon Officer-in-Charge.
Posted: 2017-02-12 01:38 PM CAMP VAERNES, Norway - Following a muster at the 133rd Airlift Wing and an eight-hour overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 100 Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard finally arrived in Norway to conduct the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange on Feb. 9, 2017.
While the U.S.-based Soldiers were warmly greeted by members of the Norwegian Home Guard at Camp Vaernes, a similarly-sized group of Norwegian Home Guard members were received at Camp Ripley Training Center. The arrival of military members from both countries to their host nations formally began the annual exchange, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to become fully-immersed in foreign military and social culture.
"Though I didn't know what to expect before getting here, they have been very welcoming," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Taylor Hanson, a member of the 148th Fighter Wing. "They are making sure we had everything."