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CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Col Johanna P Clyborne assumed command of the Roseville-based 347th Regional Support Group from Col Steve S Hanson during a ceremony at Camp Ripley, September 7, 2013
Hanson, who works full-time as a financial analyst at Camp Ripley, took command of the 347th in 2011
"In the past two years, the 347th RSG has improved personnel readiness across all elements," said Maj Gen David Elicerio, commander of the 34th Infantry Division "[Hanson] oversaw the mobilization, deployment and redeployment of multiple units All served honorably; bringing home accolades from the units they served with and supported"
During the ceremony, Hanson took time to recognize the Soldiers of the 347th RSG for their contributions during his time in command
"I'm pleased to acknowledge the Soldiers, NCOs and officers in the RSG for all the hard work you have done," said Hanson "Your readiness ratings have never been higher"
Elicerio offered high praise of Hanson's performance over the past three years and observed that one's time in command, while rewarding, can also be fleeting
"In my 33 years of service in this Army, I have never met a more tenacious, dogged individual than Steve Hanson," said Elicerio "He understands the importance of standards; he realizes that results matter and that despite obstacles, his units must perform"
Clyborne, a Minnetonka native and founding partner at the law firm of Brekke, Clyborne and Ribich, LLC, joined the National Guard in 1989 and served in several positions of leadership throughout her 23-year career
"We are given rank to serve, not to be served," said Clyborne "I fully recognize that I have been given and entrusted with America's most prized asset: her sons and daughters I promise that I will be a good steward of our assets and our resources We will not break America's trust in us"
"You are being provided a unique opportunity at a very challenging time in our force's history," said Elicerio "You are required to be flexible, creative, focused, determined, intelligent and compassionate at the right times and in the right manner I can think of no one better to accept this challenge at this time"
Clyborne accepted the challenge and made a promise to her Soldiers about what to expect in the months ahead
"We will be flexible, we will be creative, we will work hard, we will train hard, we will continue to grow and we will develop together," said Clyborne "And we are going to have fun doing it So buckle up, 'cause it's going to be wild ride the next three years"
Posted: 2015-11-25 09:37 AM ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.
"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."
The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.
The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.
"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.
Posted: 2015-11-16 07:47 AM DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.
The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.
During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.
Posted: 2015-11-12 12:51 PM BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.
Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.
On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.