/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
MN National Guard members start training mission in Norway

After a 9 am formation to ensure that everyone was present to participate in the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Annual Norwegian Exchange, 100 Soldiers and Airmen received their final briefing before they departed to Norway Feb 13

The Soldiers and Airmen had a small amount of time to themselves before they had to board the buses that would take them to the airplane  This gave them a chance to have some lunch and make a stop at the Base Exchange  After the gear was loaded, and the plane was prepared for the flight, the Soldiers and Airmen were ordered to board the buses  It was only a few moments before they were parked next to the airplane and then permitted to board the aircraft

The flight went wheels up at 1 pm from the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Airport  The contingent was informed by the pilot that it would be a three-hour and fifteen-minute flight to Goose Bay, New Foundland where they would be stopping for a short period  From there it was another three-hour flight to Keflavik, Iceland where the group had another short layover  But after that stop it was straight to Vaernes Training Facility, Norway The contingent arrived safely in Norway at 9 am local Norwegian time  There was no down time however it was straight to work with the traditional flag ceremony  To get the exchange started

Directly after the flag ceremony the Norwegian contingent boarded the same plane that Guard members just landed in and flew to Minnesota to begin training

By Staff Sgt Kenneth R Toole
2/12/07

Day One in Norway

After a transoceanic flight, the one-hundred Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard arrived at Camp Vaerness, Norway Feb14

The Soldiers and Airmen continued the tradition of a contingent opening formation at Camp Vaerness to begin the 34th Annual Norwegian Exchange Both the Minnesota contingent and the Norwegian contingent stood at attention to raise both the US and Norwegian flags

Following the flag ceremony, the Norwegian's boarded the 737 that had just arrived with the Minnesotans  The Soldiers from the Norwegian Home Guard will train with the Minnesota National Guard for the two weeks

As the Norwegian's flew out the Minnesotan's gathered their gear and boarded busses that took them to barracks named Minneapolis and St Paul

There is not much personal time built into the first day's schedule which for some who did not sleep much on the airplane turned into a long day 

The platoons met their Norwegian trainers who will stay with them for the duration of the Exchange

Following lunch, Soldiers and Airmen experienced their first visit to Stjordal  The city of Stjordal is considered small by the visiting Americans, but it's the third largest city in Norway

Following the visit to Stjorda the contingent received a briefing from the Norwegian's Assistant Officer in Charge, Maj Torarvid Strand  He briefed the contingent on history of the Norwegian Home Guard, the history of Camp Vaernes, some history of Norway, and how the Norwegians view the Exchange program

Following the brief it was off to dinner and then the group photo of the Minnesota contingent in the Class A uniforms

This was the last scheduled event for the first day giving the Minnesotans some much needed down time and a chance to get back to their barracks

By Staff Sgt Kenneth R Toole
2/14/07

Welcome Dinner

After two days in Norway, the Norwegians held a welcome dinner to greet the Minnesota National Guard contingent Feb 15 

Before dinner the contingent participated in a special event  The Norwegians gave the Soldiers and Airmen a chance to visit Heaven and Hell  There is part of Stordal that is named Hell and a room that the Norwegians had setup to be considered as Heaven A large part of event had a unique aura of secrecy

After the visits to Heaven and Hell the contingent dinner was served  Lt. Col. Torbjorn Maehlumsveen, Camp Vaernes commander, gave a warm welcome to everyone to open the evening

Another special part of the evening was the presentation of the Female Yeti to the Norwegians by Lt. Col. Scott St Sauver, the officer in charge of the Minnesota National Guard contingent  During the last exchange Lt. Col. Jeffery Turner, the officer in charge of the Minnesota National Guard Contingent presented a Male Yeti  There is a long story to go with the Yeti presentations, so the story was expounded by Lt. Col.  St Sauver

"The welcome dinner went very well and we had a great deal of fun  The Soldiers and airmen of the Contingent all appeared to have a blast and were very appreciative of everything that was going on," said Maj Shaun Riffe, the company commander for the Minnesota National Guard contingent

This event was first of multiple formal dinners  While in Norway, there will be two other large dinners  One will be hosted by the Minnesota National Guard contingent and the other by the Norwegians called the Farewell Banquet

By Staff Sgt Kenneth R Toole
2/15/07

The Norwegian Exchange Program



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



Article archive
 
top