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Minnesota National Guard
Guard Aviators return to Children's Hospital

Spending an afternoon with sick children is certainly a change of pace from flying missions in a Black Hawk helicopter

Yet visiting children is what 1st Lt Jesse Pope, a pilot with the 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion (2-147 AHB), was doing Friday

"It provides a good perspective," said Pope, who, with Spc Matthew O'Brien, took a break from his annual training period to visit Children's Hospitals and Clinics, in St Paul Children's cares for tens of thousands of children every year "God forbid your kid is sick and this is your situation," he said


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Part of the National Guard's community involvement, says Pope, is demonstrating compassion in what can seem like a harsh occupation "I think that activities like this are important for our effect on the community," said Pope "To be seen and to provide a face to the uniform is important"

Fridays are Bingo days, so 1st Lt Pope called Bingo numbers via closed-circuit television while Spc O'Brien visited kids throughout the hospital and played a Bingo card himself Winners got their choice of gifts supplied by both the Guard and the hospital After lunch, Pope and O'Brien paid visits to children in their rooms, and stayed for short conversations where the kids were up to it

The kids don't see military members every day, so for many, the visits were a special treat "It's definitely received well," said Tom Marsolais, a child life activities associate whose job is to make sure kids have fun things to do during their stay

"A lot of people are really grateful when the military comes in," said Marsolais "Every day is different in the hospital"

The 34th Combat Aviation Brigade has been reaching out to conduct community outreach/volunteer activities for the past 4 years during our annual training to give back to the communities and organizations that support our Soldiers and families," said Capt Andrea Bond, community relations officer "We worked with the St Paul Children's Hospital last year too, and we are hoping to make this an annual event"

Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health care organizations in the United States, with 347 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St Paul and Minneapolis An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 12,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient clinic visits every year Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children Please visit wwwchildrensmnorg

June 8, 2012
Photo and story by Spc Thomas Keeler
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs




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Minnesota National Guard to highlight diversity and leadership development at Women's Leadership Forum

Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, Minn.- Nearly 650 soldiers and airmen are scheduled to attend the Minnesota National Guard's third annual Women's Leadership Forum at the 3M Corporate Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.



Minnesota Guardsmen tasked for support to Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
133 AW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.



Minnesota National Guard to send aviation assets to support Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 2017-09-01  10:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Dayton has approved 11 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to support response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The soldiers will depart today from St. Cloud via CH-47 chinook helicopters to conduct aviation operations in Texas.

"I am glad that Minnesota will be able to assist the victims of the terrible tragedy in Texas, with 11 Minnesota National Guard soldiers accompanying two Chinook helicopters to join in relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota soldiers, who will travel to Texas to provide this critical relief. I encourage all Minnesotans, who are able, to donate to the qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist in any way we can."

The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade is an Army National Guard unit that supports disaster response operations by providing aviation capabilities - both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.



'Highly Effective:' 148th Fighter Wing Excels

Posted: 2017-08-24  07:36 AM
148th FW DULUTH, Minn. - For four days in early August, a team of inspectors from the Air Combat Command's Inspector General team (ACC/IG) inspected, evaluated, verified and validated the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing (148FW) in Duluth.

The results were impressive.

From Thursday, Aug. 3rd to Monday, Aug. 7th, during the course of the 148FW's August Drill Weekend, nearly 50 inspectors flew up to northern Minnesota to take a closer look at the 148FW during a Unit Effectiveness Inspection (UEI).

Their white IG badges conspicuously dangling around their necks, the inspectors spoke at length with the 148FW Airmen, asking them about their training plans, and their file plans, their checklists and their ability to accomplish their given mission. Documents were reviewed, reports were validated and equipment was inventoried. The inspection was as thorough as it was exhaustive.



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