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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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Operation Future Warrior, rain or shine

Posted: 2017-05-24  01:12 PM
Operation Future Warrior More than 900 recruits from the Minnesota National Guard came to Camp Ripley Friday through Sunday for Operation Future Warrior.

Young men and women who volunteered to join the Minnesota Army National Guard got to experience a small taste of basic training and military training during the three-day event.

"The intent of Operation Future Warrior is removing the mystery of the training recruits will experience when attending Basic Combat and Advance Individualized Training," said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, recruiting and retention battalion commander.



St. Paul-based Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
Hellkamp ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony, May 21, 2017, at the Arden Hills Army Training Site.

Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Hellkamp assumed duties as the unit's senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Cunnien, who served in the position for the past two years and will be retiring from the military later this year.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



Families recognized for sacrifices during Guard deployment

Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
Welcome Home ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Soldiers of B Co., 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were welcomed home May 20, 2017, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the ceremony, families were recognized for their sacrifices during the year-long deployment.

"I often tell Soldiers and truly believe that as hard as our jobs are at times, our families have the harder job at home," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, commander of the 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion. "Because Army family members have a unique burden that many of their friends and families cannot understand, they form family readiness groups, or FRGs, to share information and provide support to one another."

The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit keeps the base running

Posted: 2017-05-16  12:41 PM
Camp Ripley CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Camp Ripley Training Support Unit is designated to the care, upkeep and assistance to the installation and those utilizing the facility.

"The Training Support Unit's (TSU) primary focus is to support unit training requirements and ensure smooth operations here on Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site in the metro," said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Clabo, Training Support Unit Readiness NCO.

Camp Ripley features numerous ranges and state-of-the-art training facilities to support military, law enforcement, first responder and inter-agency partner training requirements. The installation is structured to have a full complement of automated small arms and large caliber weapon ranges as well as several specialized training facilities.



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