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Minnesota National Guard
148th Fighter Wing to support stability operations in South Korea

148 FW Deploys DULUTH, Minn. - The 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth is set to deploy to Osan Air Base, about 40 miles south of Seoul, South Korea, beginning the week of April 10.

The Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing, an element of Air Combat Command, is deploying fighter aircraft to the region in order to provide U.S. Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces with Theater Security Packages, which help maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security and stability.

"We are being employed by a combatant command that seeks and values the experience, competence and commitment of Minnesota's Citizen-Airmen," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "The Minnesota Air National Guard has been preparing for this mission for more than a year, and it is not a reaction to any specific action in the region.

"The deployment reflects a shift in how the Minnesota National Guard's Air and Army units are being utilized as operational forces in ongoing operations to support active service components."

To support the Theater Security Package, which is part of a routine deployment of fighters throughout the Asia-Pacific region that has been in place since 2004, the 148th will provide approximately 300 Airmen and twelve F-16s for nearly 4 months.

"While deployed we will continue normal day-to-day operations," said Lt. Col. Curt Grayson, commander of the 179th Fighter Squadron and the 148th's deploying commander. "By training in Osan it allows us to be in the pacific theater and respond to any threat with limited time and distance.

"This deployment will also be a valuable training opportunity for not only our pilots and our maintainers, but will further develop relationship with our international partners and Pacific Air Force Command."

During the past year the 148th Fighter Wing conducted several large-scale exercises to prepare for the deployment, including Red Flag Alaska, in which the wing trained with the Republic of Korea Air Force.

"The Airmen that will be departing to South Korea over the next two weeks are well-trained, well-led and well-equipped," said Col. Jon Safstrom, commander of the 148th Fighter Wing. "Our 148th Fighter Wing will fly the Block 50 F-16CM, the newest and most capable F-16 in the U.S. Air Force fleet."

"The wing has actively supported previous overseas Air Expeditionary Force and Expeditionary Combat Support missions in support of the Global War on Terror," said Safstrom. "Our missions have taken our team to Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe and the Pacific - this is the first time our unit has deployed to South Korea."

April 2, 2016
by Staff Sgt. Patrick Loch
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team 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.



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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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