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Minnesota National Guard
34th Combat Aviation Brigade gears up for year-long deployment

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- More than 220 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's St Paul-based 34th Combat Aviation Brigade are preparing for a yearlong deployment to Camp Buehring, Kuwait this June in support of Operation Enduring Freedom To kick things off, Soldiers from the unit met at Holman Field in St Paul for a formation before heading up to Camp Ripley, MN where they will conduct pre-mobilization training "This pre-mobilization training is important because it brings the whole unit together to train and finalize our deployment plan," said Lt Col Greg Fix, commander 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion

One of the key parts of this pre-deployment training is focused on family readiness and resiliency "The Minnesota National Guard really sets the pace for the nation as far as working with Service members and their families with the plans that we have set in place," said Fix

For many of the Soldiers that are deploying with the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, this is a new experience for their family and friends they leave behind "This is our first time going through this so it will be a learning experience and I have a lot of mixed emotions; I am sad that he is leaving but also very proud of him," said Sara Kessler, wife of Black Hawk pilot, 1st Lt Adam Kessler of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade "We have an incredible support system with our family and friends and also with the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network in our community," said Sara Although Camp Buehring, Kuwait has the capabilities to stay in touch via phone and video-conference, Kessler and his wife plan on also staying in touch by writing letters to each other the old-fashioned way as well throughout his deployment

May 2, 2014
by Tech Sgt Paul Santikko
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota

Posted: 2017-04-28  12:38 PM
NGAMN conference MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.

The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.

The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.



Camp Ripley earns top environmental award

Posted: 2017-04-26  02:09 PM
Mississippi River CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.

The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.

"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.



Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding

Posted: 2017-04-26  10:57 AM
Neely COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.

"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."

Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.



Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.

"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."



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