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Minnesota National Guard
682nd Soldiers, families enjoy picnic prior to deployment

Family picnic WILMAR, Minn - Deploying Soldiers from the 682nd Engineer Battalion enjoyed a picnic with loved ones at Robbins Island Park in Willmar, Minn, September 11, 2015

The picnic was sponsored by "Serving Our Troops" and coincided with the unit's final drill weekend before deploying to Kuwait Families of the Soldiers were able to socialize and build a support system to take on the challenges that come with a deployment

That weekend, Soldiers and their families also took part in the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's Family Prep Academy, a nationally recognized one-day program geared to improve the quality of life for everyone affected by a deployment

"It will help not only spouses, but also parents, siblings and children understand and be able to cope with the deployment of their loved one," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, commander of the 682nd Engineer Battalion

The Family Prep Academy links participants with subject matter experts, previously-deployed Service members and representatives from military, government and civilian agencies Those interactions ensure that Soldiers and their loved ones are aware of the resources available to them during a deployment

Ferdon noted that the academy is a useful tool regardless of the Soldier's experience with deployments

"Whether this is the Soldier's first or fourth deployment, I believe we all learned good information," said Ferdon

The nearly 160 Soldiers deploying with 682nd Engineer Battalion began training at Camp Ripley, Minn, last May The unit will depart Minnesota for additional training in October in preparation for a one-year mobilization to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield

The unit's mission will be to direct and oversee the mission command for vertical and horizontal construction companies and missions within the US Central Command

The Soldiers of the 682nd represent 99 communities, and expect to return home next summer

September 11, 2015
by Sgt Bob Brown
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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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.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

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
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

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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