| Minnesota National Guard Soldiers to deploy to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance
ROSEMOUNT, Minn- Nearly 700 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers from the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division will be mobilized to support humanitarian relief in Liberia in Spring 2015
The Soldiers will provide the command and control of US military forces deployed as part of Operation United Assistance, the military effort supporting the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) response to the Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia
"Our mission will be to coordinate all of the Department of Defense resources in Liberia to support USAID and the government of Liberia to contain the Ebola virus, and ultimately save lives," said Army Maj Gen Rick Nash, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard
The specific duties of the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers will be to synchronize the operations, logistics, personnel and resources of the US military forces assigned to the area The Red Bulls will not be responsible for treating Ebola patients
"And importantly for the Liberian people," Nash continued, "the Minnesota National Guard presence will provide confidence that something can and will be done to stop the spread of disease"
US Army Division Headquarters have been tasked to provide command and control for Operation United Assistance Since November 2014, the Ft Campbell, Kentucky-based 101st Airborne Division has led the first rotation of this humanitarian mission The Citizen-Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division are expected to depart Minnesota in March 2015 for pre-mobilization training before deploying to Monrovia, Liberia in April 2015 to assume command from the 101st Airborne Division
All troops deploying to West Africa will receive specific medical training -- developed in conjunction with US Army Public Health Command -- and utilize specialized personal protective equipment to ensure they are protected from exposure
"Preserving the health of our Soldiers is the highest priority for this mission," said Army Maj Gen Neal Loidolt, commanding general of the 34th Infantry Division "Extra steps are being taken to protect the Soldiers' health, including personnel protective equipment and educating the Soldiers about the diseases prevalent in the area"
The "Red Bulls" are expected to be deployed in Liberia for approximately six months
"This mission highlights the versatility of the National Guard," said Loidolt "In addition to being deployed for domestic emergencies in Minnesota, many of these Red Bull Soldiers have been deployed for peacekeeping in Bosnia and Kosovo; and warfighting in Iraq and Afghanistan I am confident that our Citizen-Soldiers are up to the task of providing humanitarian aid in Western Africa"
For more information on the Minnesota National Guard visit: www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org, or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNationalGuard You can also follow the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division at http://www.facebook.com/TheRedBulls
Contact Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at email@example.com, or call office line: 651-282-4410 or after hours cell: 612-867-2382
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.