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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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Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.

Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground

Posted: 2017-04-18  01:42 PM
Chaplain Shabazz ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.

"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."

There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

Posted: 2017-04-14  04:25 PM
Timberwolves ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.

"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."

Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.



Red Bulls move vehicles for partnership exercises

Posted: 2017-04-12  03:22 PM
Rail load CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division wrapped up a week-long rail load operation Sunday at Camp Ripley in preparation for several upcoming international training exercises.

Vehicle crewmen from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry based in Moorhead, worked with railroad personnel from BNSF Railway to stage, load and secure their equipment in preparation for movement.

"It was a lot of work and lessons learned, but it was awesome seeing the completed product," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, readiness non-commissioned officer for C Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



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