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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 leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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