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History
Minnesota National Guard
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


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“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




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Beyond NATO Commitments, MN State Partnership with Croatia Continues to Grow

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You don't have to look to far to see this dynamic. When asked if he had ever worked with Minnesota National Guardsmen before, 1Lt Emanuel Hamer of the Croatian Armed Forces said, "This is my fourth time working with 2-136 "Bearcats," each time we grow closer and stronger. I feel like they are members of my unit. I'm glad I have this opportunity to learn new techniques and share some of our own with the Americans."



7 Nations, 4 Branches, 1 Mission; Saber Strike '17

Posted: 2017-06-20  02:14 PM
Saber Strike 17 PABRADE, Lithuania - As the sun begins to set on the Lithuanian countryside, the final touches are put on the camouflage netting designed to break the silhouette and conceal the position of the Tactical Action Center, or TAC, of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division on June 17, 2017. As part of the multinational exercise of Saber Strike '17, the 1/34th ABCT is providing support to the Air Assault Task Force Commander, Col. Charles Kemper.

As the first ever combined air and ground assault in the annual Saber Strike exercise, this year's exercise has set a milestone in testing the compatibility of seven nations and all military branches.

"We want to reassure all of our NATO Allies that we are in this together," said Kemper. "We're part of the team and we can demonstrate capability."



Minnesota Aviators complete successful eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise

Posted: 2017-06-20  08:30 AM
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"Our mission is to support a brigade element here," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Otremba, with the 2-147. "But I think our ultimate mission is to train for an austere environment which sets us up for success at NTC next year."

The task force conducted aviation support missions including air assault, sling load, deliberate attack, defensive positioning and key leader escorts. They also conducted aviation-specific training in personnel recovery, downed aircraft recovery, field maintenance and air traffic control operations.



CERFP exercise tests Guardsmen, new evaluation team

Posted: 2017-06-08  01:42 PM
evaluators DULUTH, Minn. - Minnesota National Guard members serving in a variety of roles tested their skills as evaluators and domestic response assets during a Combined Training Exercise simulating a chemical explosion in the harbors of Duluth from June 3 to June 9, 2017.

The exercise was the first time in nearly four years that the specialized 55th Civil Support Team - which would respond to a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threat before any other Minnesota National Guard unit - worked in conjunction with the 84th Troop Command's CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package. In practice, the CST would provide the initial response and hand the mission off to the CERFP, which is capable of mass decontamination and casualty support as well search and recovery expertise in the event of collapsed or damaged structures.

And as crews of CERFP Soldiers donned protective gear, established decontamination lanes and prepared for swells of simulated victims seeking medical attention, a few select Soldiers quietly observed it all.



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