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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard prepares for Hockey Day Minnesota

Hockey Day ST PAUL, Minn- In the ninth year since its inception, Hockey Day Minnesota has quickly become the State of Hockey's showcase of talents for all ages - from peewees to the pros This year's event will be played atop an active airfield at Holman Field in downtown Saint Paul

Partnered with the organization Serving our Troops, Hockey Day Minnesota will proudly honor the service of Minnesota's Service members by presenting a military theme and also providing live feedback to the St Paul-based 34th Combat Aviation Brigade members who are currently deployed to Kuwait

To kick off the weekend's events, the Minnesota National Guard hockey team will play against the Canadian Armed Forces hockey team in a friendly border-game It is no secret that the state of Minnesota is known for hockey - men and women of all ages participate in the sport and it is certainly no different for the military members who reside here Combining both Army and Air National Guardsmen, the Minnesota team will be well-matched against a tough Canadian Team

To get ready for Hockey Day, the Minnesota National Guard's players have been getting in ice time at the University of Minnesota which generously donated its facilities Behind the scenes, however, the team's organizers have been putting together their uniforms for the big game Through charitable contributions from the organization Defending the Blue Line, the team has been outfitted with military-themed jerseys, matching socks and necessary protective equipment

Shane Hudella, president and founder of Defending the Blue Line, is no stranger to being "uniform," as he served alongside many of the players in the Minnesota National Guard before retiring to take on his new venture with DTBL The organization was first started in 2009 with a mission to ensure that Service members and their children are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey

"Hockey players are able to perform at their best when they have the right equipment and I wanted to make sure the players of the Minnesota National Guard were outfitted right," said Hudella

One piece of equipment in particular is unique in the game of hockey, being worn by a goalie, the "mask" is often times painted to display the individual personality of the wearer Hudella was able to put Minnesota National Guard's Maj Darrin Janisch in touch with professional hockey goalie mask painter, Todd Miska, who designed and painted his mask for him Miska surprised Janisch with a military-themed mask just in time for the game Miska's work is well-known in the National Hockey League and worn by many of its players

"It is an honor to deliver a mask for this warrior," said Miska who surprised Janisch even further by donating his time and work free of charge

"We are the world's leading military for a reason," said Hudella "We may not win every battle, but we always leave everything on the table I expect the Service members on the Minnesota National Guard team will do just that and if they give one hundred percent, the team will prevail"

January 15, 2015
by Tech Sgt Paul Santikko
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Minnesota National Guard to highlight diversity and leadership development at Women's Leadership Forum

Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, Minn.- Nearly 650 soldiers and airmen are scheduled to attend the Minnesota National Guard's third annual Women's Leadership Forum at the 3M Corporate Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.



Minnesota Guardsmen tasked for support to Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
133 AW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.



Minnesota National Guard to send aviation assets to support Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 2017-09-01  10:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Dayton has approved 11 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to support response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The soldiers will depart today from St. Cloud via CH-47 chinook helicopters to conduct aviation operations in Texas.

"I am glad that Minnesota will be able to assist the victims of the terrible tragedy in Texas, with 11 Minnesota National Guard soldiers accompanying two Chinook helicopters to join in relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota soldiers, who will travel to Texas to provide this critical relief. I encourage all Minnesotans, who are able, to donate to the qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist in any way we can."

The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade is an Army National Guard unit that supports disaster response operations by providing aviation capabilities - both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.



'Highly Effective:' 148th Fighter Wing Excels

Posted: 2017-08-24  07:36 AM
148th FW DULUTH, Minn. - For four days in early August, a team of inspectors from the Air Combat Command's Inspector General team (ACC/IG) inspected, evaluated, verified and validated the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing (148FW) in Duluth.

The results were impressive.

From Thursday, Aug. 3rd to Monday, Aug. 7th, during the course of the 148FW's August Drill Weekend, nearly 50 inspectors flew up to northern Minnesota to take a closer look at the 148FW during a Unit Effectiveness Inspection (UEI).

Their white IG badges conspicuously dangling around their necks, the inspectors spoke at length with the 148FW Airmen, asking them about their training plans, and their file plans, their checklists and their ability to accomplish their given mission. Documents were reviewed, reports were validated and equipment was inventoried. The inspection was as thorough as it was exhaustive.



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