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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota DNR and National Guard combat wildfires

Minnesota National Guard With a Department of Natural Resources Air Attack operator in a helicopter pointing out the targets, two Minnesota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters assaulted a series of controlled grass fires this month at Camp Ripley

The DNR and the National Guard have been training together with live fires since 2001, but for the first time a DNR Enforcement helicopter is being used to direct the Black Hawks to their targets The DNR helicopter is ideal for serving as an aerial supervision platform, guiding the Black Hawks

"This cooperative effort is an excellent example of a partnership designed to improve firefighting efficiencies, as well as contain air support costs," said Capt Tom Buker, DNR Enforcement Division chief pilot

The fires were deliberately set to increase proficiency in delivering water to a fireline, to use proper communication procedures for airspace coordination around a fire traffic area or dip site, and to practice air/ground coordination, according to Darren Neuman, acting DNR Forestry Division helicopter operations specialist

Guard helicopters use buckets, known by the trademarked name of Bambi Buckets, to scoop up water from lakes, ponds, and rivers that are deep enough for the bucket to be submerged

The collapsible buckets, which are hung underneath the Black Hawk helicopters, can dump 640 gallons or 5,120 pounds of water on a fire each time they are used, a boon to DNR firefighters

"The National Guard helicopters can be mobilized within hours," Neuman said "The next helicopters that can deliver that amount of water are at least one or two days travel time away"

Two National Guard Black Hawks were used in April for water bucket missions at the Palsburg wildfire in Beltrami Island State Forest near Warroad

At the controls of the DNR helicopter was Brad Maas, a retired chief warrant officer with the Guard who deployed to Iraq in 2007 Also onboard was DNR Forestry Air Attack operator who coordinated the drops and locations for the National Guard aircraft Maas was in charge of positioning the helicopter so the Air Attack could view the operation

"Air Attack helps advise the ground folks of incoming drops, where to hit the fire next, plus handle any problems if the fire unexpectedly takes off in a different direction," said Maas

Each spring, Minnesota Army National Guard helicopter crews retrain and recertify on how to attach the buckets to Black Hawk helicopters, and then practice picking up and dumping water

"The objective is to integrate the Minnesota Guard air assets into a fire scenario in a training environment, so when they are mobilized for an actual fire they are better prepared," said Col Shawn Manke, the Guard's state aviation officer "It also allows us to understand expectations and integrate with our interagency partners, allowing us to more efficiently and effectively respond to civil authority requests"

Manke said that all Guard crews must be of the highest readiness level before they are allowed to respond to a fire This training entails all flight modes with mission tasks that include sling loads and water bucket training, with an emphasis on crew coordination Additionally, required classroom training is taught by the DNR, Guard instructor pilots, or through online independent study

"Once prerequisite field and classroom training is completed, we conduct hands-on training with the DNR," Manke said

Minnesota National Guard aviators have a good working relationship with the DNR

"The training we facilitate through collaboration increases the readiness of the Minnesota National Guard, and it provides a capable force for the DNR to respond to fire threats when required," Manke said

May 28, 2015
HometownSourcecom
Article source
http://hometownsource.com/2015/05/28/minnesota-dnr-and-national-guard-combat-wildfires/



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



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Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
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About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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