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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 National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.

"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."



Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.

Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground

Posted: 2017-04-18  01:42 PM
Chaplain Shabazz ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.

"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."

There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

Posted: 2017-04-14  04:25 PM
Timberwolves ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.

"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."

Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.



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