/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Litchfield community says goodbye as the 849th MAC prepares for Afghanistan

Minnesota National Guard LITCHFIELD, Minn- Ninety-five soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 849th Mobility Augmentation Company marched into the Litchfield Civic Arena to roaring applause as nearly 500 residents showed their appreciation of the local unit during a departure ceremony Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Litchfield, Minn

Available seating filled up quickly, leaving many well-wishers to take up standing-room only spots as Litchfield Mayor Keith Johnson kicked off the ceremony

"Everybody in this unit made a choice, and that choice was to serve," Johnson, a former Litchfield High School music teacher, said before serenading the crowd with a rendition of "Happy Trails" "I am proud to stand before you and say, 'Thank you'"

Johnson then turned the stage over to the newly-minted commander of the 682nd Engineer Battalion - the 849th's parent unit - Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon Ferdon served as the 849th MAC's commander while the unit was deployed to Kosovo in 2003-2004

"Your Soldiers are about to depart on a very important, and let's face it, dangerous mission," Ferdon said "The efforts they will put forth in the country of Afghanistan will make safer the lives of thousands of Soldiers, as well as countless Afghan civilians

"They will arrive in Afghanistan fully trained and fully equipped to do the mission as safely and as effectively as they can," Ferdon said

Before the ceremony moved outside, where a special flag presentation to the 849th MAC's commander, Capt Matthew Jukkala, would be held, Jukkala addressed the Soldiers he would lead in Afghanistan

"To the Soldiers of the 849th, this is it Hooah!," Jukkala said

"There is a great deal of motivation and excitement in these ranks," he then said to the families of his Soldiers "My number one goal is to bring everyone home in the exact condition we leave in"

The 849th MAC will first travel to Texas, where the unit will conduct two months of pre-deployment training before arriving in Afghanistan later this fall Of the 95 Soldiers leaving, 78 of them will experience their first deployment and 54 will be leaving behind at least one dependant

"We've trained long and hard for this deployment, and we will be well-equipped when we arrive," said Jukkala "This, combined with the great junior leadership in this unit, makes me confident we will safely accomplish our mission I look forward to serving with these Soldiers and the bonds that will be created in challenging times"

"The support for this deployment from the local communities has been amazing," said Jukkala "It means a lot to each of us to know that our families will be taken care of while we are gone"

In addition to the large turnout for the 849th MAC's departure ceremony on July 14, hundreds more, including a police and fire department escort, lined the streets as the Soldiers departed by bus, July 16

While deployed, the unit will be tasked to conduct route clearance missions to ensure mobility of coalition forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom

July 17, 2013
By Staff Sgt Patrick Loch
34th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Download photos

Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.

Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Article archive