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Minnesota National Guard
Running the war simulator

War simulator JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Washington- Effective Infantrymen practice marksmanship and map reading; successful armor crewmen practice maneuvering and tank gunnery; and efficient headquarters staffs hone their craft by practicing battle drills over and over. But whereas the infantry and armor can simulate combat by creating opposing forces, higher-level headquarters staffs require a more in-depth, realistic war game simulation to successfully train together. Enter in the war simulator, or war sim.

Approximately 200 Soldiers of the 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division headquarters based out of Rosemount, Minnesota, travelled to Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, in late November to conduct a premier military-to-military training exercise with U.S. Army I Corps and the Japanese army. Some Red Bull Soldiers were responsible for running the war simulator for the command post exercise known as Yama Sakura.

"The war sim is a live feed of both enemy and friendly forces," said Lt. Col. Andy Engelhardt, 34th Infantry Division Red Team Chief, from Little Falls, Minnesota. During the command post exercise, Engelhardt is the response cell officer-in-charge. "Our job in the response cell is to feed information to and from the division current operations integration cell. We take division tactical orders and enter them into the war sim. That is where the fight occurs, in the computer. But, because there are actual people running the war sim from the enemy side as well, the battle outcomes are unpredictable.

"We have all division maneuver and sustainment elements represented," he continued. "We've even brought in our aligned-for-training units: the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade from North Dakota, the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team from Idaho and the 115th Field Artillery Brigade from Wyoming."

The 34th Infantry Division response cell consists of roughly 80 Soldiers who move units around the simulated battle space. Each battalion is managed by a single Soldier, usually a young specialist or sergeant, who moves the game pieces around in the war simulator.

One such sim operator, Spc. Jasmine Reuteler, a La Crescent, Minnesota, native and intel analyst with the 34th Infantry Division Headquarters, is responsible for maneuvering the 1-94 Armored Cavalry Squadron during the exercise. She says this is the fourth exercise that she's been a part of since joining the National Guard in 2013.

"I've been on both sides of the war sim," she said. "Although I'm just moving one small piece, it's neat to sit back and look at the big picture, too. It's awesome to know that the work I put into the war sim to feed the exercise helps the division to train. And, in this exercise our simulations go all the way up to Japan."

"These young Soldiers are filling in for what would normally be a battalion commander," said Maj. Greg Hungiville, the 34th Infantry Division Air Missile Defense Chief from River Falls, Wisconsin. "They are working with me, in an acting brigade commander position for the simulation, to maneuver units and fight the enemy.

"They have to look at battlefields just as a battalion or squadron commander must do. What they are learning is absolutely valuable to their military careers. It's not often that young Soldiers get the opportunity to really see the battle from this perspective."

"As an intel analyst, I've already had experience with how units operate on the battlefield," said Reuteler, who happens to also be the 34th Infantry Division Soldier of the Year. "I'm using these exercises to build a foundation for my military career. I hope to stay in for 30 years, if I can."

December 9, 2015
by Master Sgt. Ashlee J. L. Sherrill
34th Infantry Division Public Affairs



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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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