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History
Minnesota National Guard
Mission Accomplished: Return of the 1st Brigade Combat Team

The final wave of Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division returned to Minnesota on May 6, 2012

From August 2011 until April 2012, the 2,700 Minnesota Soldiers conducted missions in Kuwait and Iraq This was the largest deployment of Minnesota Red Bulls since World War II


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During the deployment, the BCT had three main objectives The first objective was managing five bases in Kuwait, ensuring everything ran smoothly and providing life support for US forces and their allies

Second, the brigade was responsible for force protection, ensuring that Soldiers had the ability to conduct operations safely

Their third objective was providing convoy security for the end of Operation New Dawn, the largest logistical drawdown since World War II The last convoy left Iraq on December 18, 2011

"The 18th of December was a big day for the brigade because the looks on the faces, when that last convoy crossed and we all made it out safely and we got all those Soldiers home," said Col Eric Kerska, brigade commander "All 40,000 Soldiers, home by Christmas, that was a big deal for the guys"

Some of the brigade's accomplishments include:
  1. Traveled 28 million miles conducting convoy escort and security, while escorting approximately 359,000 personnel, 27,000 trucks and supplying 554 million gallons of fuel to US forces in Iraq

  2. Completed 25 Department of Public Works projects on Camp Arifjan and reduced excess resources that helped identify a savings of $10 million in annual contracts

  3. Conducted more than 335 Area Reaction Force missions and 11,925 Quick Reaction Force missions, traveling approximately 98,985 miles in Kuwait
"The folks from Minnesota really need to be proud of what their Soldiers accomplished," said Kerska "It was an extremely complicated mission, lots of moving pieces, lots of danger"
The next step for the Soldiers is reintegrating with their families

Now that the Soldiers have all returned home, they will all participate in Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's Initial Reintegration Training The training is three parts and occurs at 30, 60 and 90 day intervals after the Soldier's return Reintegration training connects Service members and their family with providers and classes that can assist them in overcoming the challenges of reintegration

May 6, 2012
Staff Sgt Dajon Ferrell
Deployment Cycle Support office





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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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