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Minnesota National Guard
Female instructor pilot breaks barriers at 133rd Airlift Wing

Dana Novinskie ST. PAUL, Minn. - Many Air Force jobs are traditionally dominated by males. However, in recent decades, women who have the intelligence and mental and physical ability to meet and exceed the standards have been rising through the ranks.

Maj. Dana Novinskie, a pilot at the 109th Airlift Squadron, a part of the 133rd Airlift Wing, has been flying since she was 22. This year, she became the first female instructor pilot the wing has ever had.

The 109th Airlift Squadron provides long-range, worldwide airlift on short notice and conducts tactical airlift operations in combat to include aeromedical evacuation and airland and airdrop of troops, supplies and equipment anywhere in the world.

Novinskie got her private pilot's license while studying engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Upon graduation in 2004, she went on to Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training. She did her Joint Advanced Multi-Engine Pilot Training with the Navy in 2006. In 2007, she became qualified in the C-130 at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas where she earned Distinguished Graduate Honors. Her first assignment was at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas.

Novinskie has since deployed and flown many missions supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn. She has accumulated over 670 combat and combat support sorties and has been awarded the Air Medal six times.

In 2012 Novinskie and her husband transferred to the Minnesota Air National Guard unit in St. Paul, Minn. Not long after, she was selected to go to C-130 Instructor Pilot training and is currently the only female instructor pilot in the wing. She is excited to bring her extensive knowledge and skills to the upcoming generation of pilots within the unit.

When asked how she feels about being a female in a predominantly male career field, Novinskie said, "We should be judged on performance and not our race, gender or sexual orientation. None of that matters. I'm just glad we've arrived at a time in history where that's possible."

April 4, 2016
by Capt. Winnie Tan
133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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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."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

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