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Minnesota National Guard
Honoring Veterans, Public TV Series Explores Issues Facing Minnesota Soldiers, Families

Continuing a partnership it began in 2005 with the Minnesota National Guard, Twin Cities Public Televison (TPT) will air the latest in a series of programs this month telling the stories of Minnesota soldiers and their families

And the work of a Roseville resident, Luke Heikkila, was instrumental in assembling the project, according to National Guard representatives
Continuing a partnership it began in 2005 with the Minnesota National Guard, Twin Cities Public Televison (TPT) will air the latest in a series of programs this month telling the stories of Minnesota soldiers and their families

And the work of a Roseville resident, Luke Heikkila, was instrumental in assembling the project, according to National Guard representatives

The newest partner project is "Bridging War and Hope," featuring 22 National Guard members who returned in October from a year in Afghanistan working with farmers through their local agricultural ministries to improve production and expand the marketing of their products, according to a TPT news release This and several more tpt-produced shows will air around Veteran's Day, Nov11, tpt officials added


"For the second time in three years, tpt producer Luke Heikkila has personally traveled to a combat zone so that he could share with viewers, the challenges, successes and sacrifice of our citizen-soldiers and their families," said Lt Col Kevin Olson, director of public affairs for the Minnesota National Guard "We sincerely appreciate tptÕs commitment to telling the stories of the men and women in the Minnesota National Guard"


Through tptÕs Minnesota Partnerships initiative, Heikkila has produced several documentaries and series with the Minnesota National Guard, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and health organizations to increase understanding and support for soldiers and veterans and their families during and after their deployments, the public TV network said


"Bridging War and Hope is a one-of-a-kind look into a very unique mission that will bring enduring economic stability to the people of Afghanistan,"said Olson He said one of HeikkilaÕs films-"Iraq and Back: Minnesotans' Stories,"-is being used for training Guard troops before deployment


TPT said it will broadcast these special programs in November in honor of Veteran's Day (Air times follow):

Joining Forces (4-part series airs Nov 4, 11, 18, 25) - In collaboration with HealthPartners Institute for Medical Education, tpt produced a series of four episodes to discuss health issues affecting Minnesota's soldiers, including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Medical experts shed light on the struggles theyÕve seen in Minnesota soldiers and describe the adjustment process soldiers and their families endure


Iraq and Back: Minnesotans' Stories (airs Nov 11, 18) - A 2009 regional Emmy nominee, this documentary follows five soldiers and their families from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Red Bull Division as they endure a year-long deployment to Basra, Iraq This program illustrates how they cope with the time spent away from each other Heikkila traveled to Basra, Iraq and learned first-hand what soldiers and their families experience during a deployment


-Bridging War and Hope (airs Nov 11, 18) - Located in some of the poorest, most-austere surroundings imaginable, the National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team is bridging war and hope by providing opportunities to Afghan farmers



Here is a more detailed TV schedule:
Joining Forces (4-part series)
"Home Again" Ð Nov 4 at 6:30pm; Nov 11 at 12:30am, 6:30am, 12:30pm; Nov 11(tpt LIFE) 11:00am
"On the Mend" Ð Nov 11 at 6:30pm; Nov 18 at 12:30am, 6:30am, 12:30pm; Nov 18 (tpt LIFE), 11:30am
"Grey Matters" - Nov 18 at 6:30pm; Nov 25 at 12:30am, 6:30am, 12:30pm; Nov 25 (tpt LIFE), 11:00am
"Breaking Point"- Nov 25 at 6:30pm (tpt MN)


Bridging War and Hope
Nov 11 at 9:00pm; Nov 18 at 3:00am, 9:00am, 3:00pm (tpt MN)

Iraq and Back: Minnesotans' Stories
Nov 11 at 10:00pm; Nov 18 at 4:00am, 10:00am, 4:00pm (tpt MN) By Scott Carlson
Article source
Roseville Patch



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Minnesota National Guard contract acquisition team to deploy

Posted: 2017-01-15  04:44 PM
1903rd Support Detachment CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Four Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's Little Falls-based 1903rd Support Detachment, 347th Regional Support Group will deploy for a nine-month contracting mission at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel.

"The Soldiers are motivated, trained and ready for their upcoming mission. We will contract for the necessary services and supplies to support the warfighter," said to Lt. Col. Michael Lange, the team commander.



Jensen takes command of historic 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in its 100th year

Posted: 2017-01-13  01:54 PM
34ID Change of Command Brig. Gen. Jon Jensen, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff, took command of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, Jan. 8, 2017, as the Division marks its centennial anniversary.

"2017 marks a historic year for the Red Bulls as we begin celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 34th Infantry Division," said Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. The Division, then known as the "Sandstorm Division," was created in 1917 from National Guard troops of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas and Nebraska.

Jensen is the second native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, to hold the position and joins a long line of commanders who have led the Division through both of the World Wars up to the current Global War on Terrorism.



Military, Civilian Response Agencies Train for Super Bowl 2018

Posted: 2017-01-12  09:34 AM
CERFP ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard's CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) and Twin Cities emergency service personnel with MN Task Force One endured single-digit temperatures at the WestRock paper mill in St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 7, 2017, for a joint training exercise.

The 203-person CERFP conducts command and control, search and extraction, decontamination and medical operations to assist civil authorities in providing disaster response. It is comprised of Soldiers from the 84th Troop Command, 682nd Engineer Battalion and 434th Chemical Company, and Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing Medical Group.

This was the second joint training exercise the CERFP and MN Task Force One have conducted together, said Maj. Ryan Cochran, the Deputy Commander of the Minnesota CERFP.



NOREX 44 'Away Team' assembles in preparation for annual exchange

Posted: 2017-01-11  01:21 PM
NOREX drill CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The contingent of soldiers and airmen from the Minnesota National Guard preparing for the annual U.S.-Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange assembled for their first formal training event Saturday and Sunday at Camp Ripley Training Center.

The preparatory drill weekend, which took place one month before 103 members of the Minnesota National Guard embark to Norway as part of the "away team" for the two-week military and cultural exchange event, was held to provide information on the exchange and, more importantly, allow an opportunity for these service members from units across the state to come together as one team.

"It's a good opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds in an accelerated environment," said Army Sgt. 1st Class David Wentzel, with the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery. "This experience is what they're going to make of it, and they're making the most of it."



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