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Minnesota National Guard
Planning and Execution: Keys to a Good Deployment

Theater Support Package DULUTH, Minn. - In early April 2016, the 148th Fighter Wing deployed approximately 300 Airmen and about a dozen F-16's to Osan Air Base, Korea as part of a Theater Security Package (TSP). TSP's have been an integral part of the U.S. Pacific Air Command's force posture since 2004. TSP deployments are routine and not due to any specific threat in the region and usually last three to four months. So, what does it take to make a deployment like this happen?

"From a Logistical Readiness Squadron (LRS) perspective, I would break a deployment into two phases; planning and execution," said Maj. Darin Phillips, 148th Fighter Wing Installation Deployment Officer.

During the planning phase personnel are trained according to the deployment reporting instructions of that theater, to include medical requirements and other personal qualifications. On the cargo side, Unit Deployment Managers (UDMs) and increment monitors work to build their cargo, so load plans can be submitted to get airlift for both equipment and personnel.

"Once we transition into the execution phase, we become the Deployment Control Center (DCC), the command and control node to ensure a successful deployment. Making sure people are on schedule to go through the processing line and get on the airplane ... same thing for cargo, cargo is manifested, prepped for air shipment and loaded on the plane," said Phillips.

It takes many different agencies working together to make a deployment of this size happen. "We are in charge of the Personnel Deployment Function (PDF) and Cargo Deployment Function (CDF), these functions fall under the DCC," said Senior Master Sgt. Jen Cheslak, 148th Fighter Wing Senior Logistics Planner. "For the execution stage we work directly for the wing commander," Phillips said.

"What day is it?" said Cheslak jokingly when asked how many hours their team has put in to support the transport of cargo and personnel. The DCC operated about 18 hours a day during the execution phase of the deployment.

Many challenges were faced by the DCC including only being able to fit one C-5 Galaxy on the ramp at one time so the arrival and departure times were critical. The weather and mechanical issues also caused many delays and headaches causing multiple changes in scheduling; with only having one load team the DCC had to keep a close eye on the load team's work hours to ensure their safety. Another scenario that had to be planned for was de-icing ... the de-icer that was available only reached 45 feet and the tail of a C-5 Galaxy is 65 feet, so coordination for additional equipment was required to reach 65 feet should de-icing be needed.

Through all the challenges communication was key. Communication between the PDF, CDF, UDMs and the DCC was critical due to the many obstacles that required changes. "What are we going to change or not going to change such as report times of people ... or do we keep it the same because our Airmen have already mentally prepared that they will be leaving. If we had to make a change, our number one goal was to get it out to the rest of the wing in the most expeditious manner possible," Phillips said.

In order for this deployment to happen, the Logistics Readiness Squadron was responsible for arranging the transport of approximately 270 short tons of cargo and about 300 Airmen.

In addition to the Logistics Readiness Squadron, other agencies at the 148th Fighter Wing played key roles in making this deployment a success. The medical group provided immunizations to ensure all deploying members were current, security forces personnel ensured force protection during off-site training and at the airport during departure, and the communications flight made sure that the command and control nodes ran smoothly. "Every squadron has done something to make this deployment a success," said Senior Master Sgt. Katrina Patterson, 148th Fighter Wing Personnel Deployment Function Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge. "It was a team effort, every entity has touched a piece of this."

Before the cargo and personnel left the base the planning had begun for the return trip. "We started planning about a month ago," Phillips said. "About half way through the deployment we will be sending re-deployment assistance teams to the deployed location to continue the process of bringing everyone home safely."

May 12, 2016
by Master Sgt. Ralph Kapustka
148th Fighter Wing 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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