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Minnesota National Guard
Generations in uniform in 'Memorial Day'

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 24, 2012 - 2:41 PM

Multiple members of one family are changed by war in a drama shot in Minnesota

"Memorial Day," the Minnesota-shot independent film, has picked up a number of festival awards, including the audience award for best narrative feature at the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival and best narrative feature at the GI Film Festival in Washington, DC

A family saga as much as a war story, it chronicles a generations-spanning Minnesota military family whose servicemen harbor life-changing combat experiences they can't easily talk about

The story unwinds from the recent past in Iraq, to an idyllic heartland farm in the 1990s, to the bloody Battle of the Bulge The film offers James Cromwell, the veteran character actor who played kindly farmer Hoggett in "Babe" and the silent star's loyal chauffeur in "The Artist," the biggest role of his long career He plays Richard Vogel, a taciturn farmer who has a troubled inner life that belies his Norman Rockwell appearance

For decades he has packed away his painful World War II memories in a dusty footlocker Only when his coaxing grandson Kyle insists does the old veteran share his long-repressed memories Cromwell's lookalike son, John, plays Vogel as a worried young lieutenant on the front lines

A parallel story follows the now-grown Kyle (Jonathan Bennett, who played Lindsay Lohan's boyfriend in "Mean Girls") Staff Sgt Vogel applies his grandfather's lessons as he faces similar challenges in Iraq as a member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Division, the Red Bulls

The $12 million production is historically accurate and impressive The state National Guard provided modern helicopters, Humvees and extras, and collectors of vintage combat vehicles contributed German army halftracks, vintage jeeps and P-38 fighter aircraft

The film is as plain-spoken and sincere as a recruiting poster, with similar dramatic depth Director Sam Fischer handles the film's action demands capably and guided the mostly nonprofessional cast to solid performances The strongest contribution comes from Cromwell, who nails a demanding part, finding a core of realism and truth in a role that could have been maudlin
Article source
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/153658975.html



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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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