CAMP RIPLEY, MINN.- "A rock is tough, as soldiers must be," said Maj. Gen. Kristin Lund, Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Home Guard during a dedication ceremony at Camp Ripley, Little Falls, Minn. Feb. 16, 2013. "It's solid as our strong friendship. It's durable as the cooperation between our nations. And a rock is hard to remove from its foundations, as the exchange should be hard to remove from our future plans."
The monument, made of stone quarried in Norway, commemorated the 40th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX). Approximately 200 Norwegian soldiers, Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Little Falls community members attended the ceremony.
"This is a right and fitting monument to our program," said Brig. Gen. Worthe Holt, Assistant Adjutant General Air. "It demonstrates that this 40 year partnership has stood the test of time, endured the forces of wind, rain and snow, and has kept us prepared and ever ready like a Soldier should be. I believe this monument symbolizes the distance to our friends home is only a stone's throw away, ever reminding us to never let the grass grow on the path to our friend's house.
"It's a symbol of the long-lasting friendship," said General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense for Norway. "It's the largest piece of Norway in the United States."
NOREX began in 1974, and allows Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to participate in winter operations training with the Norwegian Home Guard in Norway, while the Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers train with Minnesota National Guard Soldiers at Camp Ripley. NOREX promotes good will and enhances military readiness between the two nations while providing cultural understanding for exchange participants.
Feb. 16, 2013
By Tech. Sgt. Scott G. Herrington
148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Posted: 2014-12-18 10:32 AM HUGO, Minn.- The city of Hugo celebrated its fifth anniversary as a Yellow Ribbon community at their city council meeting, Dec.15. The Minnesota National Guard's, Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, and Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper, were on hand to say thank you to Hugo and its Yellow Ribbon Network volunteers.
"This city has changed how citizens can come together to support, honor and recognize veterans, Service members and their families," said Nash. "I especially commend Chuck Haas for all he has done to lead these efforts in your community."
Hugo Yellow Ribbon network Chairman Chuck Haas, a retired business owner, proud grandfather of six and a member of the Hugo city council since 1998 has been part of the Hugo program since the beginning.
Posted: 2014-12-16 08:13 AM BLOOMINGTON, Minn.- The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., became a Yellow Ribbon company earlier this year, which proclaims the company's dedication to past and present Service members and their families. To celebrate this, they held its first Holiday for Heroes event at the Mall the morning of Dec. 14.
The event shut down the park for a few hours on Sunday to allow veterans and their families to come and enjoy all the rides for free, as well as some food and giveaways. More than 3,000 took part in the event, but the day will be the most unforgettable for family and friends of 1st Sgt. Robert Renning of the 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn.
After pre-deployment training at Fort Dix, N.J., the unit arrived in Eqypt in mid-October to begin their mission of providing health service support, medical care and health protection measures for members of 14 different nations that make up the MFO.
Capt. Jonathan Vang, commander of the 204th ASMC, recently called in to Minnesota Military Radio to give an update on how the unit is adapting to its new mission overseas.
Posted: 2014-12-15 01:01 PM DULUTH, Minn.- Seven Airmen from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. were given the opportunity to visit with the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody on Nov. 1, 2014. Chief Cody was in Minnesota to visit the 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis, Minn. during their drill weekend and held an Airmen's Call which members of the 148FW attended.
During the Airmen's Call, Chief Cody stressed the importance of all components of the Air Force to include the Guard and Reserve, discussed downsizing the force and what that might mean to future missions and thanked everyone for the contributions they make to the Air Force.
"I thought that the Chief's town-hall meeting format was great. He opened the floor to questions right off the bat and really put himself out there for the ranks to ask questions, said Master Sgt. Nick Downs, 148th Fighter Wing. The atmosphere and his demeanor made it comfortable for any Airman to ask questions."