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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard works toward sustainable armory plan

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- During a recent interview on Minnesota Military Radio, Col Larry Herke, Minnesota National Guard Construction and Facilities Management Officer, talked about the way forward as the Minnesota National Guard develops a 30-year plan to sustain its facilities around the state

"Currently we have 64 armories that are in 61 communities throughout Minnesota," said Herke "There are a few communities with more than one armory or readiness center, but we are distributed throughout Minnesota in order to do the functions of the Minnesota National Guard"

But, of those facilities, Herke says more than half are 50 years or older Maintaining aging infrastructure during a time when budgets are being continually cut is a challenge that Minnesota National Guard leaders are looking to solve in order to ensure that the Minnesota National Guard is best positioned to respond to citizens in the future

"We do definitely want to stay community-based, and that's our intent as we go forward," said Herke Congress has required that each state develop a plan that will be briefed to the Senate Armed Services Committee early next year Over the last year, the Minnesota National Guard has worked to determine how to be manage and maintain facilities across the state in a way that is fiscally responsible and environmentally sustainable

"The functionality of the building and the age are the two major factors that we're looking at," said Herke "It's just difficult with an older facility to keep it up We haven't been able to do a lot of the green initiatives that are coming forward in mandates from the federal government"

Herke and his team also took into consideration the location of the armories in relation to where the majority of Minnesota National Guardsmen live and work Having facilities located close to Soldiers' homes will help the organization retain personnel in the future

"We took a look at demographics - where people are moving," said Herke "Most of our facilities were built in the 50's and during that time period our demographics were such that we were balanced between urban areas and rural areas within the state What we find now, as we went forward, is that a majority of our Soldiers are in those urban areas"

As plans move forward for the construction, consolidation and closure of some Minnesota National Guard armories, the Minnesota National Guard will continue to look for ways to ensure its ability to support both domestic and overseas missions

To listen to the full interview on Minnesota Military Radio, visit http://minnesotamilitaryradiohourcom/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MMR-113014-mp3 The interview starts at 24:00

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

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