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Cyber Security, Response and Emergency Preparedness
The National Guard is resuming its more traditional role in emergency response as the ground war in Southwest Asia draws down Meanwhile, another more obscure fight is escalating — the battle to protect the networks, communications and infrastructure on which our society depends
“To most people, the cyber fight is much more abstract,” said Army Staff Sgt Eric Ebner, a communications specialist with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Ebner describes it as a fight in another dimension, separate from land, sea, air, or space
“We can think about what it’s like to fight on land, we can think about what it’s like to fight in the air,” said Ebner “But very few people can visualize in their head what it would be like to fight in cyberspace”
As the Guard works to develop its response capability to this threat, other state agencies are doing the same In April, at the third annual Minnesota Public Safety Interoperable Communications Conference in St Cloud, the Guard sent a dozen Airmen and Soldiers to exchange information and experience with other agency representatives, both in cyber response and traditional hazard response
“We hope to get a little bit more knowledgeable about what they do, about what we do,” said Air Force Master Sgt Thomas Walton, a cyber transport technician with the 148th Fighter Wing
In St Cloud, the Guard displayed their Remote Communications Platform (RCP) The RCP is a mobile communications tower that can facilitate information sharing between first responders, local, state and federal agencies It can also extend the range of both military and civilian radio systems It is self-sufficient with on-board power generation and can be in operation within 60 minutes of arrival on site Walton deployed with the RCP to the Cavity Lake Fire in 2006
The Guard also has a Joint Communications Platform (JCP), which is a communications hub for a command post or incident command site It provides voice, video, radio and data services and can be used in challenging environments where commercial services are degraded or non-existent
Such an emergency often requires the coordinated response of several state entities With ongoing rehearsals and exercises, the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs will improve its response to these emergencies
In this fight, the skill of its Service members is perhaps the Guard’s biggest asset, with the capacity and capability of being called up to respond not only to a traditional emergency, but also a cyber emergency The cyber security mission will continue to be a high priority for the National Guard in Minnesota and around the country
By Spc Thomas Keeler
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
7 May 2012
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.
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."