History
Minnesota National Guard
133rd Airlift Wing members return from Afghanistan

Family, friends and fellow Airmen gathered at the 133rd Airlift Wing to welcome home Airmen from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan Saturday, Feb.18, Wednesday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 23.

Approximately 80 Airmen returned home after providing C-130 airlift support in Afghanistan since January 2007.

While deployed, 133 AW members partnered with Peoria, Ill. to complete the airlift mission. "We never worked with Peoria before, so it was a unique situation, they are a good bunch of people, I would probably go anywhere with them," said Senior Master Sgt. Danny Dahms, flight line pro super, 133AW Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

This is Senior Master Sgt. Dahms third deployment and while in Afghanistan he supervised 42 Airmen who worked the evening shift from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week.

"Troop moral was really good," said Master Sgt. Dahms. "If you weren't working, you were sleeping."

This deployment was unique because Airmen were stationed in their area of operations. The 133AW members lived in theatre, which is considered inside the box, rather than residing outside the box and then flying missions into theater, explained Maj. Jeff Wong, pilot with the 109th Airlift Squadron.

While aircrews were executing airdrop missions overseas, they used the newest global positioning technology called Joint Precision Airdrop System that allows cargo bundles dropped from C-130s to steer themselves to drop zones.
"JPADS is a pretty remarkable system," said Maj. Wong. "We were able to airdrop supplies from about 17,000 feet and still able to land it within a 100 yards of where the Army asked for it."

Although there was not a lot of personal time in between missions, Maj. Wong managed to continue his hobby of ice hockey through email.

Maj. Wong is an assistant hockey coach for White Bear Lake Peewees and has been coaching the same age group for five years. While in Afghanistan, kids would email game summaries after each game to keep him informed of their performance.

When Maj. Wong was deployed, the White Bear Lake Peewee Hockey Team did not forget about his discipline on the ice.

"He is a definite influence on everyone, he is guy who knows how to enforce discipline," said Tommy Tusa, 13, White Bear Lake Peewee Black Hockey Team player. "Jeff keeps everyone in line for not screwing around when it's important."

"I think discipline is an important part of the game and it's an important part of life," said Maj. Wong. "They are 12-year-old kids.and if you can teach them something about life that they will take away, that is probably more important in the long run."

About one week before Maj. Wong deployed, the hockey team gave him a farewell hockey stick salute on the ice and upon his return on Feb. 18, 13 players saluted him as he walked off the aircraft.

After the initial reunion with family and friends, all returning members were in-processed and then briefed for the first time about the Minnesota Air National Guard Reintegration Program.

The reintegration program is to help returning troops and their families with successful transition back to family, friends, society and employment after a deployment.

The new program is structured in three phases. The first phase includes an extensive briefing from professional experts and state agencies 30-days after their return. Phase two includes a mailer providing critical information to members and families if challenges arise after the 30-day point. The third phase is scheduled between the 90 to 120-day point after returning and will enable the medical group to perform the mandatory post-deployment health reassessment. Additionally, the Mission Support Flight will invite other agencies from outside and around the wing to participate in supporting the returning members and their families.

"We (members in Mission Support Flight) are not the subject matter experts," said 1st Lt. Jason Hull, Readiness Management Officer, 133rd Mission Support Flight. "We guide people to the agencies to assist with any problems."

The three-phased process allows returning members and their families to hear about a variety of programs and helps members better remember the available services, Lt. Hull explained.

Now that the first rotation of 80 Airmen completed their mission in Afghanistan, another large group will report to Bagram Airfield in April. At this time, both Minnesota National Guard and Illinois members will work together again to execute the mission overseas.

Story by 1st Lt Sheree Savage,
Minnesota Air National Guard Public Affairs

Photo gallery

133rd Airlift Wing returns from Afghanistan
The final group from the 133rd Airlift Wing return from their tour in Afghanistan.

133rd Airlift Wing returns from Afghanistan
Family and friends welcome home a safe return of Airmen from Afghanistan to the 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul.

133rd Airlift Wing returns from Afghanistan
The first of three groups from the 133rd Airlift Wing return from their tour in Afghanistan.





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing Return home

Posted: 2014-10-31  10:55 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- Ninety-six airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing are scheduled to return next week to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.

"Our Airmen are coming home after a great deployment. Their diligence and constant strive for excellence showed in their efforts and accomplishments while deployed. Their high level of readiness paid huge dividends as they successfully flew and directly supported numerous C-130 re-supply and humanitarian airlift missions in the region. I am proud of each and every one of our Airmen and am glad all have come back safely to their families," said Air Force Col. Jim Johnson, 133rd Airlift Wing commander.



There's a lot to physical readiness training

Posted: 2014-10-29  12:32 PM
Army PRT CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- In 2010, the Army published the Training Circular (TC) 3-22.20, codifying a long-held view by many in the service that physical readiness training, PRT, is more than just pushups, sit-ups and running.

"The Army PRT System is performance-based, incorporating physically-demanding activities that prepare Soldiers and units to accomplish physical requirements," said Maj. Neal Wilson, Camp Ripley garrison safety officer.



Mentorship program now available to all Minnesota National Guard NCOs

Posted: 2014-10-25  03:22 PM
Mentors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- A program started in 2012 to help non-commissioned officers develop and progress in their careers is now available to all Minnesota National Guard non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the grade of E-5 and above.

The Minnesota National Guard mentorship program provides mentor support for NCOs who wish to further and enhance their careers and gain insight from experienced senior NCOs. The program is open to both the Army and Air National Guard.



Minnesota National Guard senior enlisted leaders share leadership knowledge and tools

Posted: 2014-10-25  01:40 PM
Senior Enlisted Conference CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Senior enlisted leaders from the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard gathered at Camp Ripley, October 25-26 to discuss leadership, mentorship, career development and the way ahead for Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard.

Along with discussions about leadership, the focus of many discussions was the changing environment due to military budget cuts and what that means for Service members. As budgets dwindle, personnel cuts are a very real threat that will force the Minnesota National Guard and all military organizations to identify and maintain only the best of the best.



Bearcats toast mission success

Posted: 2014-10-23  12:31 PM
Bearcat MAHNOMEN, Minn.- Soldiers, families and friends of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment attended the unit's annual Bearcat Dinner, October 18, 2014.

The dinner, a tradition for the battalion, celebrated the proud lineages of the unit, as well as highlighted the accomplishments they have made over the past year.

"We have devoted a great deal of effort to pay attention to our unit readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Haugen, admin NCO for the battalion.



114th Transportation Company Welcome Home Ceremony

Posted: 2014-10-22  03:53 PM
Minnesota National Guard CHISHOLM, Minn.- The Minnesota National Guard's Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company is scheduled to hold their 30-day reintegration event and welcome home ceremony Saturday at Chisholm High School after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

"A priority of the Minnesota National Guard is to improve the wellness and resiliency of service members and their family members," said Army Capt. Ryan R. Koester, 114th Transportation Company Commander.



Article archive
 
top