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Minnesota National Guard
1st Brigade Combat Team Honors Outgoing Commander and Welcomes New

August 15, 2012 By Gina Szafraniec

Colonel Jon A Jensen is the new commander of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division At the Change of Command Ceremony on August 11, 2012 in the gymnasium of Normandale Community College, Jon A Jensen replaced Colonel Eric D Kerska in a traditional passing of the colors of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division The ceremony included remarks by each Colonel and Major General David J Elicerio In attendance were their families and hundreds of Minnesota Red Bulls

In an emotional speech Colonel Eric D Kerska, who was deployed three times, repeatedly thanked the Brigade and his staff for what they had accomplished since he assumed command on July 1, 2009 Colonel Kerska used his speech to honor the men, women and families of  the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division and only referred to himself when sharing the level of pride he had for them  "You define me and it all ends today That makes me very sad," said Colonel Kerska  "If I lived a hundred more years, nothing would make me more proud of you at this moment"

change of command
Colonel Eric D Kerska addresses the men and women of the 1st Heavy Brigade combat Team 34th Infantry Division in the Change of Command Ceremony Seated from left are Major General David J Elicerio and incoming commander Colonel Jon A Jensen

Colonel Jon A Jensen spoke briefly and like Colonel Kerska moved the attention away from himself and placed the honor of his new command position on his family, friends and service

Major General David J Elicerio described how Colonel Jensen's command position during this transition time would differ from Colonel Kerska's command position "The challenge ahead of you is huge  I am confident you are the right man for the job"

change of command

Major General David J Elicerio passes the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division colors to Colonel Jon A Jensen

From August of 2011 until April 2012, the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division conducted missions in Iraq and Kuwait for Operation New Dawn They supported US forces in the drawdown phase of US military operations in Iraq and were responsible for base management, force protection and convoy security Their mission was the largest logistical drawdown since World War II "This has certainly been a very busy and successful year," said Colonel Kerska

For base management, the Brigade ensured billeting and life support for over 81,300 soldiers throughout five bases in Kuwait and processed over 180,000 personnel into and out of Kuwait For force protection, the Brigade conducted over 335 area reaction force missions, driving over 16,720 miles, and conducted over 11,925 quick reaction force missions, driving over 82,264 miles in Kuwait For convoy security, the Brigade conducted convoy escort and security over 28 million miles, escorted 27,000 trucks and 359,000 personnel, performed 1,200 sustainment and logistics missions in Iraq and supplied over 554 million gallons of fuel to US forces in Iraq

In a deployment ceremony at Fort Snelling on May 22, 2011, Governor Mark Dayton entrusted Colonel Kerska with an American Flag and asked for its safe return along with the men and women  All of the men and women under Colonel Kerska's command returned home

During the ceremony the wives of each colonel were presented with flowers and Colonel Kerska received an award and gift
Article source
http://www.gotothecrow.com/2012/08/34th-infantry-division-change-of-command/



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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