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Minnesota National Guard
The Adjutant General answers questions about force structure

Minnesota National Guard Army force structure issues have been at the forefront of the discussion as military leadership decides what the future US military force will look like Maj. Gen. Richard C Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, and other National Guard leaders are focused on ensuring that the National Guard continues to function as a full partner in not only domestic response, but also in support of overseas operations as directed by the president

We spoke with Nash recently about the current state of the organization and how budget and personnel cuts could impact the Minnesota National Guard

Q: Why is it important to Minnesotans that the Minnesota National Guard maintain its current force structure?
A:
We require sufficient Army and Air National Guard force structure and personnel to effectively respond to emergencies declared by our Governor, whether man-made or natural disaster or 'no notice' events working with our inter-agency partners We also need to not only meet the challenges in Minnesota but also have sufficient response capabilities to deploy alongside our neighboring states for regional or national requirements Finally, we have to retain sufficient equipment, trained Soldiers and Airmen to meet our federal mission at the call of the president for worldwide deployment that challenge our national interests or freedom of movement

Q: What would you hope to see the force structure of Minnesota National Guard look like in the future?
A
: I continue to fight and propose force structure in Minnesota that is balanced and can respond to the critical needs of our citizens that is modern, well-maintained and manned to the level we are organized We have deployed Soldiers and Airmen 26,000 times in the last 13 years supporting efforts in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries around the globe We are now the best trained, equipped and led force our nation has ever experienced We are truly an accessible, available and interoperable operational force that is available to our service, government and president

Q: How would a significant cut in personnel affect the Minnesota National Guard's ability to respond to disasters?
A:
We would end up with a less geographically-dispersed force due to the need to close facilities that support our communities and first responders when called upon We have Soldiers and Airmen living, working and serving from every zip code in Minnesota The very core of being a local Citizen-Soldier/Airmen would be at risk and we would lose our connection to the citizens we serve

Q: How has the Minnesota National Guard contributed to the nation's overall security in the last 12 years?
A:
We have supported our Governor, first responders, local authorities and our community every time we have been asked and have completed every mission assigned We have been available and used for tornado aftermaths, floods, fires and severe winter weather We provide an extraordinary amount of planning and training in that area, working with state agencies and the Governor's office developing response plans and executing training and exercises with our partners

Q: What do Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard stand to lose if we can no longer support the training and equipping momentum we've worked toward in the last 12 years?
A:
Soldiers and Airmen need sufficient, modern and technologically-advanced equipment in order to maintain the skills and talent required to operate effectively and efficiently We are a highly-trained and educated force that can employ our resources at a moment's notice in our homeland and equally capable of performing any mission when federalized by the President The record in Minnesota is clear: our Soldiers and Airmen have performed magnificently at home and abroad and accomplished every mission with honor and success We are very proud and grateful to our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, their families and employers Minnesota and our nation could not be better served Always Ready, Always There

March 24, 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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