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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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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



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