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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guardsman takes pride in her cultural heritage

Minnesota National Guard BLOOMINGTON, Minn - In order to carry on the legacy of her late grandfather, an Army veteran, and to prove to her family that she can not only do it, but also that she will exceed at it, Spc Carissa J Mero, a human resource specialist for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, enlisted in the Army National Guard

She thrives when she is given an assignment and brings forth perseverance by finishing tasks in a timely manner whether it is making ID cards for fellow Soldiers or reviewing military award recommendations Her dedication and professionalism have made an impression on not only the Soldiers in her unit but also on her younger female cousins

"I feel that it is very important that I am setting an example for my younger cousins," said Mero "I'm helping them realize that they can do whatever they want if they are willing to put forth the effort"

Mero's enlistment in the Minnesota National Guard has also made an impact on the way in which her culture views her It was not that long ago she was perceived as just a young girl, yet today her image is that of an empowered woman

As a member of the Minnesota National Guard, Mero realized that her Puerto Rican culture is well respected and her fellow Soldiers treat her no different than they would anyone else, she said

Outside of her drill weekends and on a larger scale, Mero has seen the Minnesota National Guard involved in her community functions like the St Paul annual Cinco de Mayo celebration This joint community outreach makes her proud not only as a Puerto Rican but also as a member of the Minnesota National Guard

"It is important that we treat each other the same, from the top down because that is how impressions are made on soldiers and I think that our leadership does a great job of treating everyone as equals," said Mero

The Minnesota National Guard has taken an active role in diversifying the force, which has and will continue to benefit the Minnesota Guard as cultural diversity expands

"We are committed to fostering an environment that truly represents the demographics of the communities in which we serve We must reflect those whom we lead, serve and protect," said Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General, Maj Gen Richard C Nash

February 19, 2014
by Pfc William Boecker
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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Mission Complete: Bearcats Finish NATO Exercise in Lithuania's Suwalki Gap

Posted: 2017-06-23  02:56 PM
Air Assault Saber Strike PABRADE, Lithuania - At the sound of 17 U.S. Army rotary wing aircraft humming through the air, Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, in addition to Service members of five NATO Allied countries, load onto Black Hawk, Chinook and Apache helicopters, at Kazlu Ruda airstrip during the Saber Strike exercise, June 17, 2017. The multinational effort came together to conduct an air and ground assault in the Suwalki Gap to demonstrate the nations' capability to respond to any hostile act of a potential adversary.

"You could tell on everyone's faces that this was go time," said Sgt. Derrick Bruestle, a team leader for 2-136th CAB, also known as the Bearcats. "It wasn't just a training exercise to them anymore, it was a serious mission with real implications on the real world."

The magnitude of the exercise set in as the first bird lifted off the airstrip and started moving toward the objective in a staggered formation. Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led NATO exercise meant to exhibit a strengthened partnership of the military assets of the NATO Alliance.



Beyond NATO Commitments, MN State Partnership with Croatia Continues to Grow

Posted: 2017-06-22  10:25 AM
Saber Strike SPP PABRADE, Lithuania - Since 1996, the Minnesota National Guard and the Croatian Armed Forces have been partners in the National Guard's State Partnership Program. Beyond the bond of the NATO commitment, a mutual trust and unique bond has been forged amongst the warriors of each respective nation. From Camp Ripley to Karlovac, the soldiers have found a common cause of continuous improvement. Exercise after exercise, there has been a greater appreciation of one another's culture and customs.

You don't have to look to far to see this dynamic. When asked if he had ever worked with Minnesota National Guardsmen before, 1Lt Emanuel Hamer of the Croatian Armed Forces said, "This is my fourth time working with 2-136 "Bearcats," each time we grow closer and stronger. I feel like they are members of my unit. I'm glad I have this opportunity to learn new techniques and share some of our own with the Americans."



7 Nations, 4 Branches, 1 Mission; Saber Strike '17

Posted: 2017-06-20  02:14 PM
Saber Strike 17 PABRADE, Lithuania - As the sun begins to set on the Lithuanian countryside, the final touches are put on the camouflage netting designed to break the silhouette and conceal the position of the Tactical Action Center, or TAC, of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division on June 17, 2017. As part of the multinational exercise of Saber Strike '17, the 1/34th ABCT is providing support to the Air Assault Task Force Commander, Col. Charles Kemper.

As the first ever combined air and ground assault in the annual Saber Strike exercise, this year's exercise has set a milestone in testing the compatibility of seven nations and all military branches.

"We want to reassure all of our NATO Allies that we are in this together," said Kemper. "We're part of the team and we can demonstrate capability."



Minnesota Aviators complete successful eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise

Posted: 2017-06-20  08:30 AM
XCTC FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion wrapped up support for an eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, recently. The unit was part of Task Force Ragnar, the exercise's aviation element, supporting the Tennessee National Guard's 278th Armored Calvary Regiment as they prepare for a rotation to the National Training Center in 2018.

"Our mission is to support a brigade element here," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Otremba, with the 2-147. "But I think our ultimate mission is to train for an austere environment which sets us up for success at NTC next year."

The task force conducted aviation support missions including air assault, sling load, deliberate attack, defensive positioning and key leader escorts. They also conducted aviation-specific training in personnel recovery, downed aircraft recovery, field maintenance and air traffic control operations.



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