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Minnesota National Guard
More Global Readiness, With Less Cash: What Minnesotas Nordic Exchange Says About Low-Cost Defense

Minnesota National Guard Pentagon planners must now aggressively hunt for mechanisms to keep America's warfighters ready and trained for global deployment without significant overhead We believe that they don't need to look "out of the box" before they've looked within for solutions A textbook example of such a program already resides in the longest-running troop exchange within the US Department of Defense

The longstanding annual troop exchange between Norway and the Minnesota National Guard (NOREX) could be a model for low-cost partnerships that enhance tactical readiness and support long-term strategic alliances at low-cost This joint cooperation program may also be an ideal model for enhancing relationships with many other nations

Exchange programs like NOREX teach our Soldiers intercultural communication skills which will be indispensable in a future when US deployments are increasingly elements of multinational forces They also expose junior leaders to NATO allies and create confidence in both parties operational structure

Our nation has entered an era of sequestration threats, planned defense budget cuts, and manpower reductions in active duty US troop-strength numbers We simply will not be resourced and ready to fight as we have been throughout the past ten years of continuous war Meanwhile, the global security environment presents an increasingly complex set of challenges to which elements of US national power must be applied in closely allied cooperation with foreign and multinational forces

We've learned from the past decade of war that the National Guard is a vital component of expeditionary US joint force projection in mission sets that range from conventional force to counterterrorism, irregular warfare, deterring aggression, defending the homeland, and humanitarian operations Among the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan were: 1) the necessity of maintaining globally deployable National Guard forces (especially light infantry) for support of conventional and unconventional warfare, and 2) the importance of working alongside allied but foreign partner military organizations

January 2012 guidance from President Obama and then-Secretary Panetta on "Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense" made clear that global defense readiness cannot flag despite real budget cuts and smaller size To succeed, joint readiness will almost certainly rely increasingly upon specifically tailored international security assistance forces

Last month, the 40th annual NOREX troop exchange took place in both Minnesota and in Norway In recognition of the historic anniversary, the US Ambassador to Norway, the Norwegian Ambassador to the US, the Governor of Minnesota, the Norwegian Chief of Defense, a US Senator and a host of military and civilian leaders gathered on both sides of the Atlantic to celebrate the longstanding union Emphasizing the span of the influential exchange, officers with responsibilities from Denmark to Sweden also joined

At the tactical level, young soldiers from each side trained for infantry operations in cold-weather, rapid reaction to domestic contingencies, and best practices for the defense of a homeland Some of those relationships forged at the individual level will be the future of strategic national security cooperation

To our point on individual relationships- an individual 1979 NOREX exchange participant from Norway, now-General Kristin Lund, is currently the commander of the Norwegian Home Guard She took part in the first year that female soldiers from Norway were allowed to participate She later became Norway's first female general Of note, she also works with many other senior national security leaders, including her Swedish and Danish home guard counterparts Not coincidentally, the Chief of the Danish Home Guard had been informally viewing the exchange from afar His participation this year was with an eye to evaluate the creation of a similar exchange with another state National Guard

In today's era of defense austerity, low-cost, high-payoff military programs involving the Guard and Reserves will be vital to achieving 21st century national security goals Programs like NOREX should be investigated for expansion as a model for joint force readiness and to facilitate international cooperation

Andrew Borene is a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, an adjunct professor of national security policy at Macalester College and a corporate executive He is a former Associate Deputy General Counsel at the US Department of Defense and was a US Marine officer Views expressed are his own

Brigadier General Neal Loidolt is the Director of the Joint Staff of the Minnesota National Guard In addition to supervising the joint staff, his responsibilities include emergency response operations, strategic planning, and international affairs These views are his own and not official US government policy

By Andrew Borene and Brigadier General Neal Loidolt | 41113
Article source
http://trumanproject.org/doctrine-blog/more-global-readiness-with-less-cash-what-minnesotas-nordic-exchange-says-about-low-cost-defense/



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Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



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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.



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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."



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