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Minnesota National Guard
849th MAC conducts joint operation to support Afghan presidential election

Minnesota National Guard FORWARD OPERATING BASE FRONTENAC, Afghanistan - On March 13, 2014, 1st Platoon, 849th Mobility Augmentation Company (MAC), a National Guard unit baesd in Litchfield, Minnesota, helped to clear a route in the vicinity of FOB Frontenac First Platoon's mission was simple - to assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in clearing routes so safe mobility is ensured throughout the region to all presidential election polling sites

Throughout Afghanistan, the upcoming election was a focal point in all military operations The election scheduled for April 5, 2014 was an important step toward Afghanistan's stable and peaceful future The US and other NATO forces have an enduring commitment to Afghanistan, and have pledged logistical and security support at the request of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA)

That is where units like 1st Platoon, 849th MAC, are essential The 849th MAC has been in Afghanistan since September 2013 Already, the 849th has endured a lot during its deployment Persevering through all of their setbacks, 1st Platoon continued to support mobility in their area of operation until they received orders to move to FOB Frontenac in Shah Wali Kot Province, Afghanistan

Since moving to FOB Frontenac, 1st Platoon conducts joint operations with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Cavalry Regiment (2/2CR) out of Vilseck, Germany The word "joint" cannot be emphasized enough; not only does First Platoon work with 2/2 CR, but they also conduct missions with Afghan National Secrutiy Forces and the Air Force EOD

Sgt Ryan Johnson, from Eden Valley, Minnesota, talks about the benefits of conducting joint operations

"Every time we go out with them (ANSF), they tend to find things that we don't," he said Staff Sgt Roger Peet, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, says that the reason ANSF are so skilled at finding IEDs is because they can more easily talk to the local populace and receive information from them

The added benefits of joint operations become extremely important as 1st Platoon continues participating in Operation Chamtoo III conducting route clearance missions

The platoon leader, Lt Lance Hauser, from Willmar, Minnesota, describes the process of securing routes for the election

"After we do our initial clearance, the ANSF keep the routes clear and continue to conduct patrols," he said

When asked how successful he believes their missions were, Hauser said, "I think they've been very successful in securing the routes and the local polling areas because the ANSF have established many checkpoints in the area and frequently patrol the routes"

Hauser is confident that their current mission will be successful as the result of the ANSF operations and their ability to independently operate

"They get a lot of visibility from the local populace I can only imagine that it brings a sense of security to the people in the area and brings a great sense of pride to those ANSF individuals," he said

However the election turns out, this fact remains true: the election will be an important piece of Afghanistan's history

April 4, 2014
by 2nd Lt Brenna Heisterman
65th Engineer Battalion

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

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