| Emmy for AU instructor
An Air Force Officer Training School instructor from the Iowa Air National Guard has won an Emmy for videography in Afghanistan
Capt Peter Shinn was a key part of the team that put together “Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan,” which aired on Iowa Public Television on Veterans Day in 2011 The program won the 2012 Emmy for best Military Program in the Upper Midwest Region
The program, produced by David Miller, chronicled the 2010-2011 deployment of Iowa National Guardsmen with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 734th Agribusiness Development Team and documented their feelings about the deployment after returning home
Shinn served as the ADT’s public affairs officer, producing the on-location portions of the program and providing Miller with footage of the team’s work in Afghanistan
“Captain Shinn was integral to this production,” Miller said “Without his video of the 734th ADT, I would not have been able to properly tell the story about Iowans serving in Afghanistan”
The Army general who commanded the ADT also praised Shinn’s work
“Captain Shinn told the ADT story superbly,” said Brig Gen Craig Bargfrede, who now is the assistant adjutant general for the Minnesota National Guard “I’m not surprised to hear he won this award”
Shinn reacted to news of his Emmy by lauding the Soldiers and Airmen of the Iowa National Guard with whom he served in Afghanistan
“‘Iowa Soldiers’ was about the men and women of the ADT,” Shinn said “They risked their lives every day to improve conditions for ordinary Afghans, and the real honor was working with them”
Shinn is a student squadron commander at OTS on Maxwell In addition to leading young men and women through their training to earn a commission, he actively participates in the professional development of his fellow staff and faculty at the Air University
According to the US Army website, the Army National Guard has employed the Agribusiness Development Team concept successfully in Central America for approximately 20 years The National Guard Bureau completed significant planning to transfer this successful model to Afghanistan
Composed of citizen-soldiers with farming and agribusiness expertise, team members put themselves in harm’s way to offer practical training and advice to Afghan universities, provincial ministries and local farmers Through daily community engagement, the teams helped improve Afghan farming practices, leading to more sustainable food production
Col Edward Vaughan
Air University Air National Guard Advisor
Maxwell Gunter Dispatch
Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.
As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.
"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."
To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter
Posted: 2017-02-21 01:25 PM
HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.
It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.
"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."
Norwegian youth train with Minnesota National Guard
Posted: 2017-02-16 10:52 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard experienced some of Minnesota culture along with focused military style training during the first week of NOREX 2017.
The U.S.--Norway reciprocal Troop Exchange, which began Feb. 9, 2017, annually swaps approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard soldiers as well as youths to experience each other's training, military lifestyle and most importantly, culture.
"It's rewarding interacting with more young people eager to learn about a new lifestyle and culture," said Capt. Brett Farniok, Youth Platoon Officer-in-Charge.
Warmly welcomed, U.S. contingent arrives in Norway for NOREX 44
Posted: 2017-02-12 01:38 PM
CAMP VAERNES, Norway - Following a muster at the 133rd Airlift Wing and an eight-hour overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 100 Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard finally arrived in Norway to conduct the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange on Feb. 9, 2017.
While the U.S.-based Soldiers were warmly greeted by members of the Norwegian Home Guard at Camp Vaernes, a similarly-sized group of Norwegian Home Guard members were received at Camp Ripley Training Center. The arrival of military members from both countries to their host nations formally began the annual exchange, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to become fully-immersed in foreign military and social culture.
"Though I didn't know what to expect before getting here, they have been very welcoming," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Taylor Hanson, a member of the 148th Fighter Wing. "They are making sure we had everything."