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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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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.



Minnesota Guardsmen participate in Aurora 17 exercise in Sweden

Posted: 2017-09-25  09:06 AM
Aurora 17 SKOVDE, Sweden - Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled overseas in mid-Sept. 2017 to take part in a cooperative, national defense training exercise with allied countries.

"The education and experience these Soldiers will receive is invaluable," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Hybben, 1-194th command sergeant major. "Our Soldiers will have operated in joint forces operations with fire and maneuver, which will allow for best practices to be shared and used in the future. They will have a better understanding of other military forces and how they operate not only strengthening our force but everyone involved."

The Brainerd-based battalion spearheaded the mission to Sweden as the most recent element of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division to have taken part in joint international training missions throughout Europe since early 2017.



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