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Minnesota National Guard
National Guard supports Native American youth at lacrosse camp

FOND DU LAC RESERVATION, Minn " The Minnesota National Guard, in partnership with the National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Swarm and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa participated in the third-annual Lax-4-Life Camp, a five-day, four-night lacrosse camp for Native American boys and girls, July 23-27 on the Fond du Lac Reservation Lax-4-Life is a nationally praised camp that has received recognition from the Obama Administration for its efforts in promoting healthy lifestyle choices for Native American youth


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Soldiers from the neighboring armory in Cloquet and the Recruiting and Retention Battalion staffed the event, providing a climbing wall, an inflatable obstacle course as well as leading classes on setting goals, tobacco use, and suicide prevention Of course, the Soldiers jumped in at every opportunity to play lacrosse and dodge ball with the campers

Campers received lacrosse instruction from Swarm team captain Andrew Suitor, Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines and Meg Herlofsky, head coach of Hamline's Women's Lacrosse Club

The camp helped players develop their stick skills and learn offensive and defensive strategies from Minnesota Swarm players, coaches and staff while preserving the heritage of the game of Lacrosse Founded in 2010, Lax-4-Life's mission is to preserve the heritage of the Native's ancestral game and help restore the tradition of lacrosse to tribal communities The camp offers a healthy alternative to problems that currently affect native communities such as gangs, drugs, suicide, violence, and diabetes "Its not just lacrosse camp,"said Caines "It's life camp"

This program is based around the kids and we're at the point where we're bringing kids back as counselors and bringing these kids out to colleges and bettering their lives,"said Caines, who finished his third year as the lead instructor of the camp "It's 100-percent the kids that keeps me coming back"

"The National Guard has a dual mission, we have a mission to [support] our country, but we also have a mission to [support] Minnesota and our communities,"said Sgt 1st Class Richard Kargel, a recruiter from Cloquet, talks about the Guard's involvement in the LAX-4-Life camp "We have armories set up in many communities throughout Minnesota and we like to be involved with the community by doing community service This gives us a great opportunity to work with the Native Americans and just show our support for the community and for the tribe"

In addition to offering the campers empowering life skills the recruiting command is also focused on introducing native Americans to the National Guard One of our adjutant general's objectives, said Karger, is to "diversify the Minnesota National Guard force in order to promote an environment that truly represents the demographics of the communities in which we serve and better reflects those Soldiers whom we lead"

"This morning when we were doing the obstacle course, even National Guard people were going through the obstacle course, seeing adults just throwing their adulthood away and having fun and being around the kids, that really makes a difference too,"said Jo Lynn Shopteese, Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, a third-year volunteer for the camp Jo Lynn is also a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi of Kansas

"The Minnesota Army National Guard is a strong supporter of diversity and we believe that capitalizing on the best each person has to offer starts with empowering today's youth with opportunity, tools and support necessary for personal development and growth We are very excited about our Native American Lax-4-Life partnership," said Lt Col Stephen Burggraff, Commander of Minnesota Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion

Supporting partners of the camp also include Lax-4-Life co-founder and Minneapolis Police Officer Clint Letch, the Minneapolis Police Department and Dave's Sport Shop in Fridley

July 27, 2012
Story and photos by Master Sgt Daniel Ewer
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs


Video by Sgt John Angelo
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
B-ROLL

Photos by camp photographer Alec Schimke
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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
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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.



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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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