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Minnesota National Guard
Vigilant Guard Exercise Begins with Accountability

Vigilant Guard Exercise Begins with Accountability CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - More than 1100 Minnesota National Guardsmen, 320 other military members from across the country, and nearly 500 members of state and local emergency response agencies are participating in the Vigilant Guard exercise at three venues across the state: Duluth, Camp Ripley and StPaul Aug 24-28, 2015

"Our exercise is a state activation to several fictitious scenarios that are staged in the Duluth area," said Capt Sara Behr, acting Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Officer at Camp Ripley "While the scenario is directly relevant to agencies in Duluth, each site plays a part in the overall exercise," continue Behr

At Camp Ripley, members of the 147th Human Resources Company, 347th Regional Support Group are assigned the task of in-processing and accounting for the personnel and equipment being gathered from several different agencies and states while they respond to simulated hazards on Camp Ripley

"Our mission is the Joint Reception-Staging-Onward movement and Integration, or JRSOI, for each unit and organization operation in our area," said 1st Lt Takeisha Hunt of the 147th Human Resources Company

The JRSOI is a process of accounting for personnel and equipment needed to accomplish the mission requirements while ensuring safe and effective functionality of all assets moving into and returning from the exercise

"We lead personnel through the process of verifying their readiness before moving to the mission; making sure that all administrative needs are being met so as not to reduce the overall effectiveness of the team," said Spc Joshlyn Duevel, JRSOI Briefer

"It's a great command and control tool for eliminating any unnecessary distractions that could come up during the excitement of an activation such as this," said Capt Jeremiah Hellenbrand, of the Wisconsin National Guard

Stations include; vehicle inspection, personnel accountability, medical, assignments, logistics and communications
"It's a big process to build up into  Our training for this exercise began ten months ago to verify that each step in this in-processing goes smoothly," added Hunt

The 347th regional Support Group is operating as the central hub for military units, state agencies and community first responders to operate with as they react to the exercise organized to enhance the collective cooperation between the National Guard and interagency partners

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

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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