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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Gets Lean on Process Improvement

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- The end of the war in Iraq and the budget constraints of the military have begun a time of trimming the fat, getting lean and maximizing more with less The Minnesota National Guard has been training Soldiers and Airmen in process improvement for years using Certified Process Improvement (CPI) courses as a way of creating the mindset of continuous improvement In January, eight more members of the Minnesota National Guard attended a Certified Process Improvement course at the 133rd Airlift Wing, Fort Snelling

"The training prepares the students to solve complex problems," said Reed Mick, Lean Six Development Director, Minnesota National Guard "This problem solving allows the organization to conserve resources, achieve strategy, and provide improved services to leaders and Soldiers"

According to Army G1, Lean Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology that focuses on eliminating waste and reducing variation 'Lean' refers to removing non-value added steps, or cutting out steps that provide no benefit The "Six Sigma" portion is statistically-based and represents an occurrence rate of only 34 defects per million opportunities When you combine the two, the result is a process that saves time and money and improves customer satisfaction It is appropriate to apply the principles of LSS when working with a repeatable process

Within the LSS world, there are varying levels of certification Similar to martial arts, LSS uses the belt system to distinguish between different levels of knowledge The highest-ranking belt is a Master Black Belt, while the lowest ranking belt is a White Belt

Sgt Stephanie Malm, Administrative Non-Commissioned Officer, 34th Infantry Division, attended the Intro to Certified Process Improvement course at the 133rd in November and was highly impressed with what she took away from the training

"CPI, to me, isn't just a onetime project where you collaborate with co-workers and spend hours upon hours trying to fix massive issues," said Malm "CPI is a way of thinking and can, and should, be implemented with day-to-day processes to - this is my favorite - do less with less!"

CPI/LSS can be used in all processes of the military from deployments to the motor pool The Minnesota National Guard and the military overall is using CPI/LSS training to transform its business processes to become more streamlined, agile and efficient For this to be the most effective, it needs to gain commitment and dedication from each and every member across the organization

"This really is about developing a culture of continuous improvement throughout the organization," said Mick "The training then, provides the adequate skills to do that"

"While the fiscal challenges facing the Department of Defense are great, I am convinced that the Minnesota National Guard can provide maximum effects while minimizing costs," said Maj. Gen. Richard C Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

January 16, 2014
by Sgt John Angelo
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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