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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 Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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