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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guard, Reserve conduct contingency ops exercise

Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL AIR RESERVE STATION, Minn - Minnesota Air National Guard and Reserve units recently teamed up for a complex six-aircraft contingency operations exercise

The Air Force Reserve's 934th Airlift Wing and the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing regularly take advantage of their co-location at Minneapolis International Airport to inter-fly and train together, enabling both organizations to take advantage of training opportunities normally available only in large-scale exercises

The two units usually alternate who is in charge of planning the exercises, conducted multiple times a year, and each time the process provides invaluable experience to the aircrews and support agencies involved as they are all able to learn from each other

This mission, planned by the 934th, was one of the most complex to date, according to Major Matt Crawford, 934th AW mission commander After taking off at dusk as a six-ship, the formation conducted a radar verified aerial delivery airdrop in central Wisconsin This capability allows C-130s to deliver equipment to ground forces while flying at low altitude and still enveloped in the clouds

The formation then split into three two-ship formations to conduct low-level flying to practice airdrops using night vision goggles The capabilities of the Hardwood Range Complex and Volk Airfield in Wisconsin also provided simulated threats for the aircrews to defeat that mimicked many real-world scenarios

After practicing assault takeoffs and landings using night vision, the formations then conducted an aerial rejoin back to a six-ship formation for an overhead approach and landing at Minneapolis Following the mission, wing intelligence personnel enhanced their capabilities by debriefing the aircrew on the threats that they saw just like they would after a real combat mission

"For these two units to come together and execute such a complex exercise takes more than precise planning It also takes trust that the other guy will be where they are supposed to be exactly when they are supposed to be there," said Crawford

The importance of the trust developed in these exercises was evident on a recent deployment where the two units found themselves deployed near each other at overseas locations and conducting airdrops in support of ongoing operations It was common for an aircrew from one Minnesota-based unit to be briefed by aircrew of the other before conducting a challenging combat airdrop "It felt good to get such important information from guys that you knew and had flown with," observed Captain Josh Nelson, an instructor pilot with the 934th

As is often the case, the success these units recently had in combat started with training in exercises over the skies of Minnesota and Wisconsin "We always want to push ourselves and not stay satisfied with just practicing the basics," said Captain Brandon Schrader, 934th weapons officer and chief of tactics We have such great resources for awesome training up here and we want to take advantage of it all"

The recent addition of Real-Time-In-Cockpit tactical displays to 934th aircraft will add yet another dimension to this training "These inter-fly missions enable us to provide our aircrews and critical support personnel with seasoning and operational training that will enhance our capabilities and ensure our wings continue to provide the best combat-ready teams to the Air Force mission," said Lt. Col. Chris Sedlacek, 96th Airlift Squadron director of operations

Despite its relatively small size, the facility at Minneapolis Air Reserve Station is a host to a large number of joint Total Force agencies, including the Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve In addition to being an ideal location for joint training, its shared use with the Minneapolis Airport allows it to operate at a fraction of the cost to the DOD as a stand-alone military base

May 19, 2015
Maj Ethan Bryant, 96th Airlift Squadron
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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.

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

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.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

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