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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls and partners train for upcoming Australian exercise

Minnesota National Guard The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division hosted the 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment at their headquarters in Rosemount, Minn during their January 2013 monthly drill The 5th BCD sent a Mobile Training Team from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii to familiarize members of the division's staff, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 115th Fires Brigade, Wyoming Army National Guard, and 124th Air Support Operations Squadron, Idaho Air National Guard with procedures to plan for and utilize joint fires in support of the division's combat operations  The training was conducted in preparation for Exercise Talisman Sabre 13, a biennial training activity sponsored cooperatively by the US Pacific Command and the Australian Defense Force Joint Operations Command 

"Our objective is to provide a better understanding of how to obtain Joint Air Support for Army targets," said Col Jon Howerton, 5th BCD Commander  Using a combination of large group classes and working groups to bring the division team together, the BCD familiarized the training audience on how to best integrate joint air power into the ground scheme of maneuver  The BCD highlighted process requirements the division would need to use during the exercise environment as it transitions away from counterinsurgency operations

"This is an exercise on how to integrate the Air Force into the Army scheme of maneuver," said US Air Force Maj Scott Sylvester "We are translators The Army talks to us and tells us what they need and we translate that to our Air Force guys as well as the reverse," said Maj Hans Lienke According to Lt Robert Steiner, "A large benefit of this training is building relationships Any time there is an opportunity for training with the 34th, even if it is not for us, we like to go to maintain that relationship"

The 34th Infantry Division enthusiastically welcomed the warfighting challenges required by the shift in operational requirements Lt Col Jim Cudney, Operations Officer, 115th Fires Brigade, said, "The conference gave us a clear understanding of how to more effectively integrate the brigade's fires in a joint environment to meet the division commander's intent We now have a better appreciation of the importance of articulating our airspace requirements into the joint systems in order to apply the full weight of our weapons systems against enemy forces"  

"The training we conducted this weekend taught us how the flow of work goes from the initial Joe on the ground requesting air support all the way up to division requesting close air support It was teaching us the correct processes to request the support we need, said Sgt Maj Jeffrey Karna The training was productive, "it was a big eye opener to a lot of the sections on what they need to do that they didn't know they need to do Changes in technology allow us to do more electronically, but all of our systems from Lethal Fires, G3 Air and other sections need to tie together to get the final product out"

The 34th Infantry Division is preparing to participate in the biannual exercise to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the collaborative combat capabilities of joint and coalition forces in the Pacific Region The division will conduct operations jointly with the US Air Force, US Marines and US Navy, and combine with the Australian forces during the exercise This year's exercise continues to take on greater importance as the US shifts its focus into the Asia-Pacific  The 34th Division's hosting of the 5th BCD reflects their commitment to training opportunities and building partnerships within the Pacific

Jan 13, 2013
By Maj Eric Greek, 5th BCD Public Affairs and
Master Sgt Daniel Ewer, 34th ID Public Affairs



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