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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard adds piece to NASA puzzle

Minnesota National GuardThe moon is 238,855 miles from Earth, well most of it   A small part of it can now be found at the Minnesota Historical Society's Minnesota History Center in St Paul, Minn thanks to the Minnesota National Guard The Minnesota State Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Richard Nash transferred possession of a wooden podium with moon rocks and a small Minnesota flag, that flew to the moon in 1969, encased in acrylic to Pat Gaarder, Minnesota Historical Society Deputy Director Nov 28 

The moon rocks are one of 185 that were gifted to the states from then President Richard M Nixon  The location of the majority of these "goodwill moon rocks" is still a mystery  But thanks to a historian in the Minnesota National Guard, NASA is 05 grams closer to full accountability of the 475 lbs that where brought back from the Apollo 11 mission

"The Apollo 11 moon rocks were found amongst military artifacts in a storage area at the Veterans Service Building in St Paul," said Army Maj Blane R Iffert, former state historian for the Minnesota National Guard

"When I searched the Internet to find additional information about the moon rocks, I knew we had to find a better means to display this artifact," said Iffert  "It is stated on some websites that approximately 180 are currently unaccounted for of the 270 moon rocks from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 missions  We've just lowered that number by one"

The transfer took place at STARBASE (Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration), an academic program in science, math, technology and engineering at the Minnesota Air Guard base at the Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport

A group of students from Jefferson Elementary, Maternity of Mary St Andrew and Saint Rose of Lima elementary schools from the Minneapolis and St Paul area where in attendance and had a once in a lifetime chance to look at and touch the plaque

"It was really exciting to be able to see the moon rocks," said Saint Rose of Lima student Katie Roerich  " I didn't think they would be that small  I thought that they would be bigger"
"These students will one day be the scientists, engineers and astronauts to first set foot on Mars," said Kim Van Wie, executive director of STARBASE Minnesota  "We're excited they were able to see, first hand, evidence of this historic Apollo mission to the moon and how that has paved the way for future exploration that they could eventually be a part of" 

One of the original purposes of designing and gifting the plaques by President Nixon was to inspire youth to keep excited about space exploration  Now that it has been gifted to the Minnesota History Center, it will join the 1972 Minnesota "goodwill moon rock" plaque and it will do just that

"We are honored to have this in our collection to preserve for future generations," said Gaarder "Space exploration is an important part of our shared history  It is also exciting to think that our collection includes artifacts from across the globe and now with these moon rocks, the galaxy"

Nov 28, 2012
Story and photos by Sgt John Angelo, Minnesota National Guard



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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
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The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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