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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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347th RSG units test unique capabilities during Combined Support Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-08-16  03:35 PM
347 RSG FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin - The 347th Regional Support Group commander and command sergeant major traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, 2017, to recognize several Soldiers training there.

The 204th Area Medical Support Company, 147th Financial Management Support Detachment and 247th FMSD are all conducting their annual training periods in neighboring Wisconsin, with their own mission-specific exercises that fall under the Combat Support Training Exercise taking place throughout the brigade.

The leadership duo of Col. Lowell Kruse and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson began their day with a stop at the 147th FMSD's training area, where they watched Soldiers participate in the Diamond Saber exercise. Throughout the event, the 147th FMSD - a 25-Soldier operation preparing for deployment - is exercising its dispersing, military pay and contracting functions in an interactive environment with actual customers to serve and transactions to process.



500 Minnesota soldiers notified for 2018 deployment

Posted: 2017-08-14  03:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2017

ROSEMOUNT, Minn.- More than 500 Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division headquarters have been notified of a possible deployment to Southwest Asia beginning in the fall of 2018.

"The Red Bulls maintain a high level of readiness, and over the next 12 months, our soldiers will train for this mission while also preparing their families and civilian employers here at home," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, 34th Infantry Division commanding general. "The official notification is an important step in the process of building readiness for an overseas deployment."

The planned deployment is expected to last up to one year. The notified units are based in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, and Faribault; however, the soldiers hail from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.



347th RSG trains to master tactical, uninterrupted sustainment support

Posted: 2017-08-10  08:14 AM
347 RSG CSTX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - After three busy days establishing a field command post and integrating units from across the country, the 347th Regional Support Group is underway with a three-week Combat Support Training Exercise during annual training at Camp Ripley.

It began with a Command Post Exercise on Aug. 8, 2017, but it couldn't begin until the tenants of "Tactical Assembly Area Victory" established meal service, sleeping arrangements, shower and laundry accommodations and, of course, the tactical command post.

"We do the exercise to make sure our equipment works, and once that is established we as a staff figure out how to sync together," said Sgt. Maj. Marc Dempsey, logistics operations sergeant major for the 347th RSG. "The exercise is for making sure we as a staff are working together as one team, with everyone knowing their role, for when we go into the main event."



Military kids participate in Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp

Posted: 2017-08-07  02:08 PM
Youth Camp CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Summer camp as a kid and young teen is usually filled with memories of campfires, swimming in the lake and BBQs. Camp Ripley Training Center hosted the Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp (MNGYC) for more than 200 military kids this year. The experience for the military kids who attend the camp relies heavily on donations and nearly 150 volunteers from around the state that come and spend the week with them.

Lindsay Koolmo is a volunteer and the executive director for the MNGYC. She is a military spouse, a volunteer firefighter and a mutations maintenance Tech Sergeant from the 148th Fighter Wing. She has taken upon herself for years to take time off her job and spend hundreds of hours throughout the year and more than two weeks at Camp Ripley to lead the camp.

Her affiliation with the MNGYC started early, in 1992 she was a camper, became a junior counselor, then was a junior counselor and then became an adult counselor.



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