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Minnesota National Guard
Timberwolves Celebrate Military Appreciation Month

The Minnesota Timberwolves chose November as an opportunity to salute Minnesota military members, a fitting tribute to remember Veterans Day on Nov 11

On Fri Nov 9, the team's home game against the Indian Pacers at Target Center was extra special for a few Minnesota National Guardsmen


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Master Sgt Rich Kemp of Brooklyn Park, Minn was the 'Military Hero of the Game' In 1981, at the age of twenty-two , he joined the Minnesota National Guard Master Sgt Kemp has served in the military for over 31 years and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in 2009

"I was very honored to be recognized as the 'Military Hero of the Game'," said Kemp a father of two, "I appreciate the Timberwolves for honoring the military and all veterans during military appreciation night It was great to have my family present for the occasion"

All branches of the military were represented in the joint color guard Another impressive feat was the large flag on the court, held by forty members of the Minnesota National Guard Even participants of the flag detail were able to enjoy the sentiments of the game

"It's nice to see that we are appreciated, both those who have served and those who are still serving and the fact that the Timberwolves not only gave military members tickets but also allowed them to bring their families to the games showed appreciation for the military from a whole other side," said Senior Airmen Kari Giles, Public Affairs Specialist from the 133rd Airlift Wing in St Paul, Minn "Being a part of the flag detail was a great honor, every time I hold that flag it reminds me what I fight for and why I serve"

Another military orientated event for the participants of the game to see was a 'Big Thank you Card', which stands 16 feet high and 48 feet long The American Legion of Elk River, along with the Minnesota National Guard, are making the worlds largest thank you card for the troops of the 257th Military Police Company, currently deployed to Afghanistan Anyone is welcomed to sign the card The group's goal is to collect 257,000 signatures prior to the troops coming home and to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records

One of the more symbolic military focused events for anyone in attendance to see was fifteen Minnesota National Guard recruits take the oath of enlistment The oath is a sworn pledge that all new Minnesota recruits take during enlistment The promise, common with all enlistees, is something above and beyond personal goals or ambition; it is about the values of an entire nation

Story by Tech Sgt Lynette Olivares
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Nov 9, 2012




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Operation Future Warrior, rain or shine

Posted: 2017-05-24  01:12 PM
Operation Future Warrior More than 900 recruits from the Minnesota National Guard came to Camp Ripley Friday through Sunday for Operation Future Warrior.

Young men and women who volunteered to join the Minnesota Army National Guard got to experience a small taste of basic training and military training during the three-day event.

"The intent of Operation Future Warrior is removing the mystery of the training recruits will experience when attending Basic Combat and Advance Individualized Training," said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, recruiting and retention battalion commander.



St. Paul-based Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
Hellkamp ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony, May 21, 2017, at the Arden Hills Army Training Site.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Hellkamp assumed duties as the unit's senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Cunnien, who served in the position for the past two years and will be retiring from the military later this year.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



Families recognized for sacrifices during Guard deployment

Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
Welcome Home ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Soldiers of B Co., 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were welcomed home May 20, 2017, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the ceremony, families were recognized for their sacrifices during the year-long deployment.

"I often tell Soldiers and truly believe that as hard as our jobs are at times, our families have the harder job at home," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, commander of the 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion. "Because Army family members have a unique burden that many of their friends and families cannot understand, they form family readiness groups, or FRGs, to share information and provide support to one another."

The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit keeps the base running

Posted: 2017-05-16  12:41 PM
Camp Ripley CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Camp Ripley Training Support Unit is designated to the care, upkeep and assistance to the installation and those utilizing the facility.

"The Training Support Unit's (TSU) primary focus is to support unit training requirements and ensure smooth operations here on Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site in the metro," said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Clabo, Training Support Unit Readiness NCO.

Camp Ripley features numerous ranges and state-of-the-art training facilities to support military, law enforcement, first responder and inter-agency partner training requirements. The installation is structured to have a full complement of automated small arms and large caliber weapon ranges as well as several specialized training facilities.



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