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Minnesota National Guard
1/34th Brigade Special Troop Battalion Reorganizes; The Army of 2020

334th BEB CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT) completed its official reorganization of the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1/34th BSTB) to the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion (334th BEB), Oct 18, 2014

"This unit reorganization lays the groundwork for meeting the Army's 2020 vision in which brigades are self-contained combined arms formations," said Col Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT Commander

"The Brigade Engineer Battalion now adds two engineer companies to the brigade, as well as a battalion-level staff capable of engineer planning and command and controlthe unit will also have a forward support, military intelligence, signal and headquarters company," continued Intress

During the ceremony, Command Sgt Maj Joseph Hjelmstad, 334th BEB Command Sergeant Major, presented the Battalion Commander, Lt Col Schemenauer with the 1/34th BSTB colors to be cased for the final time Col Intress then uncovered the 334th BEB colors and handed them off to Schemenauer, officially signifying the reorganization of the 1/34th BSTB to the 334th BEB

"This transformation will make us a more combat-ready and competent force, capable of meeting any challenge that our adversaries present," said Schemenauer

Recent changes within the 1/34th ABCT and this specific reorganization stem from the Army's 2020 structure realignment announcement in June 2013 by the Chief of Staff of the Army

The Army 2020 is a steady vision that transitions the Army into a future force of adaptive leaders and organizations with modernized equipment and revolutionized training in order to better strengthen the Army of tomorrow

Intress concluded his remarks with this message, "Through dedication and professionalism, the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion has honored the Red Bull legacy and made a profound impact on world history Today we officially stand up the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion, but tomorrow we must never forget the legacy of the Brigade Special Troops Battalion"

The next two years will be an exciting time for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Its Soldiers and leaders will have the opportunity to participate in the best training the Army has to offer with a brigade Warfighter exercise, an eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise in 2015 and a National Training Center rotation in 2016

October 18, 2014
by 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team public affairs



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Mission Complete: Bearcats Finish NATO Exercise in Lithuania's Suwalki Gap

Posted: 2017-06-23  02:56 PM
Air Assault Saber Strike PABRADE, Lithuania - At the sound of 17 U.S. Army rotary wing aircraft humming through the air, Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, in addition to Service members of five NATO Allied countries, load onto Black Hawk, Chinook and Apache helicopters, at Kazlu Ruda airstrip during the Saber Strike exercise, June 17, 2017. The multinational effort came together to conduct an air and ground assault in the Suwalki Gap to demonstrate the nations' capability to respond to any hostile act of a potential adversary.

"You could tell on everyone's faces that this was go time," said Sgt. Derrick Bruestle, a team leader for 2-136th CAB, also known as the Bearcats. "It wasn't just a training exercise to them anymore, it was a serious mission with real implications on the real world."

The magnitude of the exercise set in as the first bird lifted off the airstrip and started moving toward the objective in a staggered formation. Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led NATO exercise meant to exhibit a strengthened partnership of the military assets of the NATO Alliance.



Beyond NATO Commitments, MN State Partnership with Croatia Continues to Grow

Posted: 2017-06-22  10:25 AM
Saber Strike SPP PABRADE, Lithuania - Since 1996, the Minnesota National Guard and the Croatian Armed Forces have been partners in the National Guard's State Partnership Program. Beyond the bond of the NATO commitment, a mutual trust and unique bond has been forged amongst the warriors of each respective nation. From Camp Ripley to Karlovac, the soldiers have found a common cause of continuous improvement. Exercise after exercise, there has been a greater appreciation of one another's culture and customs.

You don't have to look to far to see this dynamic. When asked if he had ever worked with Minnesota National Guardsmen before, 1Lt Emanuel Hamer of the Croatian Armed Forces said, "This is my fourth time working with 2-136 "Bearcats," each time we grow closer and stronger. I feel like they are members of my unit. I'm glad I have this opportunity to learn new techniques and share some of our own with the Americans."



7 Nations, 4 Branches, 1 Mission; Saber Strike '17

Posted: 2017-06-20  02:14 PM
Saber Strike 17 PABRADE, Lithuania - As the sun begins to set on the Lithuanian countryside, the final touches are put on the camouflage netting designed to break the silhouette and conceal the position of the Tactical Action Center, or TAC, of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division on June 17, 2017. As part of the multinational exercise of Saber Strike '17, the 1/34th ABCT is providing support to the Air Assault Task Force Commander, Col. Charles Kemper.

As the first ever combined air and ground assault in the annual Saber Strike exercise, this year's exercise has set a milestone in testing the compatibility of seven nations and all military branches.

"We want to reassure all of our NATO Allies that we are in this together," said Kemper. "We're part of the team and we can demonstrate capability."



Minnesota Aviators complete successful eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise

Posted: 2017-06-20  08:30 AM
XCTC FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 2-147th Assault Helicopter Battalion wrapped up support for an eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, recently. The unit was part of Task Force Ragnar, the exercise's aviation element, supporting the Tennessee National Guard's 278th Armored Calvary Regiment as they prepare for a rotation to the National Training Center in 2018.

"Our mission is to support a brigade element here," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Otremba, with the 2-147. "But I think our ultimate mission is to train for an austere environment which sets us up for success at NTC next year."

The task force conducted aviation support missions including air assault, sling load, deliberate attack, defensive positioning and key leader escorts. They also conducted aviation-specific training in personnel recovery, downed aircraft recovery, field maintenance and air traffic control operations.



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