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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


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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




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Minnesota Identification Card will no longer grant access to Department of Defense installations

Posted: 2016-08-19  01:53 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- With the implementation of the "REAL ID Act" going into effect at Department of Defense installations nationwide, access will no longer be granted to Minnesotans carrying standard state-issued identification cards. Beginning this week, Minnesota residents will be required to have an approved escort or use alternative forms of identification to access the following installations:

- 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul
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Without a 'Real ID,' access will be granted only to individuals with an approved escort (i.e. a service member with a Common Access Card), or carrying one of the approved alternative forms of acceptable ID.



General John W. Vessey, Jr. - The 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Posted: 2016-08-19  08:22 AM
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr. General John W. Vessey, Jr., a former member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94.

General John W. Vessey, Jr. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 29 June 1922. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in May 1939 while still in high school, becoming a member of Headquarters, 59th Field Artillery Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. He was only 16 and fibbed about his age to join. With other members of his unit he was called to active duty in February 1941. When war came, the 34th became the first American division sent to Europe, where it initially fought in North Africa and then in Italy. A natural leader, Vessey rose quickly in the enlisted ranks until 6 May 1944 when, pinned down on the Anzio Beachhead amidst high casualties, the 21-year old battery first sergeant was given a battlefield commission and sent forward to direct artillery fire.

Vessey decided to stay in the Army after war. During his first 30 years of military service, he spent most of his time in combat divisions. In addition to his World War II assignment with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy, Vessey served with the 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division in Germany, the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and was commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado.

He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also graduated from the University of Maryland. His love of flying prompted him to earn his wings, which he always wore proudly. When he graduated from the Army Helicopter School in 1970, he was 15 years older than the next oldest student.



Message of hope and healing stands out during fun run

Posted: 2016-08-18  10:49 AM
Power of One Fun Run CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - A 5K run/walk event was held for Minnesota National Guard service members Saturday at Camp Ripley.

This event is one of two in the series of fun runs hosted by the Resilience, Risk Reduction & Suicide Prevention, or R3SP.

"Soldiers truly enjoyed this alternative training option. The smiles that were on the participants faces when they crossed the finish line showed they had fun," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeanette Chaffee of R3SP.



Guard unit proudly carries Heritage Torch

Posted: 2016-08-17  09:07 AM
1-194 CAV CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment celebrated, remembered and cherished the legacy of their unit with several events this past drill weekend.

The inheritance of over 70 years of deployments, challenges and achievements resonated in the several events executed by the men and women of the battalion.

"The trials this unit lived through since its creation are inspirational for all of us ... no matter what you are doing," said Capt. Joe Howe, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment.



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