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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard Cyber Specialists Among Best in Nation

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- In September, the Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency designated the Joint Reserve Intelligence Center (JRIC) Minneapolis as the JRIC of the Year for 2012 The Minneapolis JRIC is a joint facility operated by the Navy of which the Minnesota National Guard is a key partner and it is one of 28 JRICs based throughout the DoD

Five years ago, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had trained signal intelligence Soldiers who did not have the opportunity to maintain their skills To rectify this, the then division commanding general Maj. Gen. Richard Nash and the Minnesota Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito took a concept originated by Lt. Col. Chris Tatarka and sought out a way to retain the skills of these Soldiers while also providing valuable real-world intelligence support to major theater commands

This cyber mission developed in 2008 as the 34th ID prepared to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom "Over the course of our deployment we trained and utilized the best trained analysts in Iraq At that point we had skill sets and certifications that we did not want to lose," said Brig Gen Neal Loidolt, deputy commander, 34th Infantry Division "When United States Central Command asked if we could support their signal intelligence-based cyber mission we saw an opportunity to prove ourselves again"

One of the great benefits of the JRIC concept is intelligence reach back "A great example of this is that you can provide the same Intelligence support needed in the theater of conflict while being back in the US," said Maj Corby Koehler This is of particular importance as we draw down forces overseas without a decrease in mission capability "That is one of the big components of the award and the signal intelligence mission"

The Minnesota National Guard has Soldiers performing signal intelligence-based cyber operations overseas as well as stateside personnel supporting the overseas mission from Minnesota "Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark Learned is currently working the same mission in Afghanistan with a different cryptology group," said 1st Lt Allyson Kalscheuer, a signal intelligence officer with the Minnesota National Guard "What we are doing here is not training We are performing a real-world mission supporting both the Central Command active duty mission"

The work of the JRIC "enables the National Guard to maintain relevance in real-life scenarios," said Capt Brian Morgan, 34th Infantry Division Special Security Officer "We are supporting real-world missions as Minnesota National Guard personnel As funding continues to shrink, the Minnesota National Guard has proven that we have the trained people to support missions overseas, and we can do it from home"

By supporting Central Command "we help identify bad guys and prevent them from entering overseas facilities," said Kalscheuer

A benefit of the Minnesota National Guard providing cyber support to higher military commands "is bringing a lot of attention to the Minnesota Guard as a premier organization where we have the trained, ready, highly sought-after personnel that can perform these kinds of missions," said Morgan "It is not your average Soldier that can execute these tasks It takes years of training and we are lucky that we have such a professional proficient force that can handle these requirements"

While the Minnesota Guard stands out amongst its intelligence arena peers they are always looking to fill available slots with new recruits "Hiring those young, technically competent, network savvy folks feeds into our cyber response initiative," added Koehler

"We are in a new era as a country," reflected Morgan "We are always looking for top-notch Soldiers with an exceptional level of patriotism and special technical knowledge to join the team" The Minnesota National Guard employs increasing numbers of military intelligence and signal occupational specialties for enlisted members, officers and warrant officers Further career information can be found at http://wwwnationalguardcom

Future plans for Minnesota National Guard cyber warriors includes adding a cyber platoon to the permanent force structure

November 7, 2013
by Master Sgt Daniel Ewer
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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