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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls Meet Books for Africa Team

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- Soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division were on hand to witness the shipment of more than 22,000 books to the Ebola-stricken nation of Liberia The shipment comes as approximately 300 Red Bulls prepare to deploy this spring to Liberia to lead US military efforts to combat the West African Ebola outbreak

"This event gives us a chance to meet some of the other great Minnesotans that will be on the ground with us in West Africa for Operation United Assistance," said Army Maj. Gen. Neal Loidolt, commanding general of the Red Bulls "Building these relationships early will be important part of this unique mission"

The 34th ID will provide command and control of US military forces supporting the United States Agency for International Development's response to the outbreak in the region, and the Wing will provide tactical airlift support

"To send books to Liberia at this point in time, particularly after the Ebola crisis, I think is timely and will change lives," said Ahmed Sirleaf, the collaborating, learning and adapting advisor at the US Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, who was on hand to accept the donation on behalf of the embassy's local Employee Staff Association Sirleaf, who grew up in Liberia, worked and attended school in Minnesota

According to Sirleaf, the shipment comes at a good time for the children of Liberia With schools closed to stem the spread of the disease, many of the nation's children are without reading materials

Books for Africa, the Minnesota organization behind the shipment, has sent more than 31 million books since 1988

According to a recent World Health Organization report, of the more than 20,000 reported Ebola cases, nearly 8,000 people have lost their lives in the region since the outbreak began

December 23, 2014
by Sgt. 1st Class Ben Houtkooper
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



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