/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Adjutant General meets with Croatian Military Leaders

ZAGREB, Croatia - Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, Adjutant General for the Minnesota National Guard, traveled to Croatia May 13-18 to meet with leaders of the Croatian Armed Forces Nash also visited Minnesota National Guard Soldiers who were training with Soldiers of the Croatian Army

Download photos

Before meeting with the Croatian leaders, Nash met with James B Foley, the United States Ambassador to Croatia They discussed maintaining the relationship with Croatia and the way ahead

"The top priority in the near future is to reform and professionalize the Croatian Reserve Force," said Lt. Col. Guy Konietzko, International Affairs Officer for the Minnesota National Guard, who traveled to Croatia with Nash

"We will already start the framework for a communication plan later this summer for the building of the reserve force," said Nash "This goal has the support of the US Ambassador, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Defense for the Croatian Military"

Nash met with Dr Dragan Lozancic, the Deputy Minister of Defense; Lt Gen Drago Lovrić, Chief of Defense; Maj. Gen. Dragutin Rapinc, Land Forces Commanding General and other military leaders to discuss the partnership between the Minnesota National Guard and the Croatian military

The partnership between the Minnesota National Guard and Croatian Armed Forces is a component of the State Partnership Program The program was set up to assist Central European countries and their militaries in the transition to democracy and free market economies A National Guard Bureau proposal to pair state's National Guard with the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania formally initiated the program Since then, the initiative has grown and is now a key US security cooperation tool, facilitating mutual cooperation across all aspects of international civil-military affairs

Today, the National Guard provides its unique capacity building capabilities to combatant commanders and US Ambassadors by partnering 50 US states, four territories, and the District of Columbia with 66 countries around the world through the State Partnership Program

This marks the 16th year that Minnesota and Croatia have worked together in various programs The Minnesota National Guard supports Croatian contributions and capabilities for peacekeeping, humanitarian relief and search-and-rescue operations The Minnesota Guard also assists in the development and interoperability of Croatia's Armed Forces

"The partnership is beneficial to both counties," said Lt. Col. Zoran Liposčak, Military Cooperation's Chief with the Croatian Army "It has helped Croatia, as a new Army, to improve our training and raise our standards All the officers and enlisted Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard have been very professional and well-trained"

Since Croatia and Minnesota partnered under the State Partnership Program in 1996, the Minnesota National Guard has participated in well over a hundred bilateral activities with Croatia, including multiple iterations of developing and fielding combined Operational Mentoring Liaison Teams (OMLTs) to serve in Afghanistan The Soldiers from both countries form the OMLT and deploy to coach, teach and mentor an Afghan National Army kandack (battalion) in order to increase the overall capabilities of the Afghan Security Force

The Minnesota and Croatian Soldiers also team up for an annual exercise called GUARDEX Soldiers from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry (2-136 CAB) were in Croatia training with Croatian Soldiers May 4-18 The Soldiers conducted platoon level training, integrating Croatian and US Soldiers

During his trip, Nash was able to view part of the GUARDEX 12 training  

"I was greatly impressed by GUARDEX 12," said Nash "It was well planned and executed by both the Croatian and Minnesota Soldiers It was led flawlessly by the junior officers and enlisted Soldiers"

This marks the final year of the training exercise between the two militaries "Although this is the last GUARDEX, it has been recognized by the US ambassador and the Croatian Military leaders as a valuable training experience for the Croatian soldiers" 

Other priorities for the future include mentoring the Croatian Armed Forces on how to provide Military Support to Civilian Authorities, rotary lift engagements to support the Air Advisory Teams/Multinational Aviation Training Center and assist with cyber security

"Part of our future work will include homeland response skills for natural and manmade disasters," said Nash  "We will exchange ideas from the experience we have in Minnesota and our response to disasters in the region and throughout our country as evidenced by the response to Hurricane Katrina

The relationship that has been established over time between the two forces has been built on trust By training together, the two organizations have inspired and earned a level of confidence in each other that makes operations on the battlefield run more smoothly

"Because of the great work of the Croatian Military and our Minnesota National Guard Soldiers, Croatia has become a respected and capable NATO partner and will become a member of the European Union in 2013," Nash said

May 18, 2012
Story and photos by Master Sgt Rich Kemp
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.

Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Article archive