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Minnesota National Guard
State Prepares for Next Disaster with Vigilant Guard

Minnesota Military Radio Whether it's a devastating flood in Duluth or along the Red River Valley, a wildfire threatening Ely, a tornado outbreak bearing down on Minneapolis or the threat of a man-made disaster at the Mall of America, agencies and organizations from across the state are preparing their teams to respond as one

"We focus on all hazards," said Minnesota Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Joe Kelly on a recent episode of Minnesota Military Radio "What we've learned though is that, when it comes to preparedness, it's not necessarily the specific hazard It is the planning and the training together and the relationships"

"Nobody had a scenario in an exercise that ever had the 35W bridge collapsing and dropping into the Mississippi River," Kelly continued "But, because we had trained on other types of disaster scenarios, particularly the local [governments], Minneapolis, St Paul, Hennepin and Ramsey County and their supporting, surrounding communities, they were ready for that And that shows the real value of training together and focusing in an all-hazards way"

To that end, the state is now preparing for what may become the largest emergency preparedness exercise in the state's recent history, known as Vigilant Guard 2015 Spanning from Duluth to Camp Ripley down to Saint Paul, the exercise will involve city, county and tribal governments

"On the front side of this is also an exercise called Vital Connections," added the Minnesota National Guard's Director of the Joint Staff, Army Brig Gen Jon Jenson "Vital Connections is going to be an exercise that allows us to do in assessment of the communication systems, because those multiple systems are our ability to talk to each other during the time of emergency It's the first time that we've done one in Minnesota, we're really looking forward to it"

To listen to the full interview on Minnesota Military Radio, visit http://MinnesotaMilitaryRadioHourcom/20150308/





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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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