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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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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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