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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard will not be going to Liberia, after all

Minnesota National Guard 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
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http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/289696571.html



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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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