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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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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.

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