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Minnesota National Guard
Army Aviator reflects on Government Shutdown

Minnesota National Guard Capt Shannon Gregory, Operations Officer for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, watches a UH-60 Black Hawk get ready to depart, a welcomed sight after not flying for 22 days

The government shutdown furloughed most personnel at the Army Aviation Support Facility for nearly three weeks From fuelers to flight operations personnel, it takes six to eight additional technicians to support a Black Hawk in flight and two hours of maintenance once it is on the ground With ten UH-60 Black Hawks and 1 C-12 Huron fixed-wing aircraft in the hanger, the layoffs affected many people

"It's tough to tell someone not to come in to work and then get them motivated again," said Gregory In addition to the full time personnel, contacting all of the traditional Soldiers when drill was cancelled was a disheartening experience

Each National Guard pilot has to fly several hours every month under varying conditions like night vision goggles and instrument flying, to maintain their annual requirements With the impending government shutdown, military leaders had the foresight to maximize flying hours prior to the shutdown But lost time is time that can't be made up

"A month after the government shutdown, we are 65-70 percent below where we should be" said Gregory An aviator since 2000, he has seen his share of challenges He led Soldiers in a combat zone, he landed his aircraft on a Navy Destroyer, but dealing with government furloughs of employees, was a challenge he could not fly his way out of

Despite the layoffs, the Minnesota National Guard was still ready to fly into action in the event of a state activation "We were prepared for emergencies with state funding, to help the citizens of Minnesota if those needs arose," said Gregory

Nov 1, 2013
Story and photos by Russ Gamache
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Intern



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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