| Minnesota Guard will not be going to Liberia, after all
ST PAUL, Minn- As the number of West Africans who have become infected with Ebola drops dramatically, members of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division are learning that they will not be going to Liberia to support the US military's mission there
Col Kevin Olson, Guard spokesman, said Saturday night that the division -- which was going to Liberia in support of Operation United Assistance -- is no longer required
"The Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division was one of the units identified to deploy, and has informed the nearly 300 soldiers preparing for this mission that they will not be required to support the effort to contain the Ebola virus disease in West Africa," Olson said in a statement
Last November, the Guard announced that nearly 700 members of the 34th Red Bull would be deployed to Liberia for a six-month period They were expected to arrive in April and depart in late fall That mission was later reduced to nearly 300 soldiers
The US military has sent about 3,000 troops to West Africa to build treatment centers But the outbreak started to subside even before the first US centers were completed The epidemic has killed at least 8,675 people
The Minnesota mission was intended to support humanitarian relief and not direct treatment of Ebola patients The Red Bulls had been assigned to assume command from the 101st Airborne Division based in Fort Campbell, Ky The 101st has been overseeing construction of the treatment centers, which the 34th was to take over
The Minnesota Guard members had undergone their initial training, which included making sure they had the proper immunization, were cleared medically and that their paperwork was in order, Olson said If the mission had gone through, the Minnesota soldiers would have gone through extensive training at Camp Ripley near Little Falls and at Fort Hood, Texas
Asked if there was perhaps some relief that the Liberia mission had been canceled, Olson responded: "Our soldiers stand ready to answer the call of our state and our nation In the past, we've come forward for both peacekeeping and war fighting"
To show how things have changed in West Africa, Sierra Leone plans to reopen schools in March, following Guinea, which opened them last week Liberia is set to reopen schools on Feb 2
Staff writer Mark Brunswick and the Associated Press contributed to this report
January 24, 2015
Mark Brunswick, Star Tribune
Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.
Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground
Posted: 2017-04-18 01:42 PM
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.
"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."
There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.
Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves
Posted: 2017-04-14 04:25 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.
"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."
Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.
Red Bulls move vehicles for partnership exercises
Posted: 2017-04-12 03:22 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division wrapped up a week-long rail load operation Sunday at Camp Ripley in preparation for several upcoming international training exercises.
Vehicle crewmen from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry based in Moorhead, worked with railroad personnel from BNSF Railway to stage, load and secure their equipment in preparation for movement.
"It was a lot of work and lessons learned, but it was awesome seeing the completed product," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, readiness non-commissioned officer for C Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.