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Minnesota National Guard
148th Fighter Wing Excels at Combat Hammer

Combat Hammer HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah - Approximately 180 Airmen and Block 50 F-16's from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn participated in an exercise known as Combat Hammer while at Hill AFB, Utah in early May 2015 Combat Hammer is a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) that evaluates weapon systems in their entirety

While the exercise was about a week long for most 148FW Airmen, it was quite a bit longer for those Airmen actually building the bombs and missiles "Typically, we are one of the first assets to show up at a deployment," said 2nd Lt Mylii Pukema, 148FW Munitions Officer "We show up about a week before most everyone else, so we can build up the weapons and have them ready when the jets arrive"

"It's a common misconception that weapons come already built," said Pukema "Different weapons have different levels of configuration that have to happen It can be a lot of detail that goes into configuring a weapon or it can be relatively simple, it just depends on the mission"

148FW Munition's Airmen were evaluated from the time the weapon came out of the box How they practiced safety and followed tech data during the building of the weapon were key components to the evaluation process

"An exercise like this provides many different benefits," said Pukema "In the military you are constantly losing experts and having to train new people to fill their spots Combat Hammer gives the more experienced people a bigger window of time to train and provide guidance Another added benefit is team building which can be difficult in a typical Guard drill weekend"

"Combat Hammer is a more labor intensive exercise than most due to the amount and different types of weapons we are required to build," said Pukema 148FW Munitions Airmen built over 100 bombs and missiles while at Combat Hammer, since they were ahead of schedule they even started building weapons for future units

"I couldn't be happier with our performance," said Pukema "Great crew, highly motivated and loved to be busy If there was downtime they would do minor repairs to the building just to stay busy"

For Senior Airmen Nathan Windus, a full-time Munitions Airman with the 148FW, Combat Hammer was an opportunity to work with his traditional team members "Getting to work with the traditional Guardsmen for more than a drill weekend was a great opportunity to see individual skill sets and who might need additional training," said Windus "It was great the way everyone came together as a team"

The WSEP evaluates the whole Air Force process from the time the munition folks receive the weapons, to building the munitions, getting the weapons out to the flightline and loaded on the aircraft, does the aircraft operate the way it should without having issues, did the pilots use the appropriate tactics and did the weapons perform properly

"We are being evaluated from bomb build-up to weapon employment," said Lt. Col. Nathan Aysta, 148th Fighter Wing Detachment Commander for Combat Hammer "Not only are we being evaluated individually, but the numbers from our performance are being combined with other Air Force units that have participated in Combat Hammer to look at the effectiveness of the whole system"

"Over 80 percent of our pilots were first-time shooters, meaning they haven't employed weapons before or the weapon types before Combat Hammer gives our pilots a very realistic opportunity to employ these weapons in a training environment and get the results on how accurate they were in engaging their targets," said Aysta

"The two biggest benefits from Combat Hammer are training and an objective look at how we are performing from an outside organization," said Aysta "The big summary from the outbrief is that our maintenance and munition folks did well above average and that our pilots performed above average on weapons that they normally train to use"

"It was a class act all around, we again performed to the "Bulldog" standard which for outside organizations is exceeding the normal standard," said Aysta

May 21, 2015
by Master Sgt Ralph Kapustka
148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs



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http://www.148fw.ang.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123448796



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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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Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

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