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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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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



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Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
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The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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