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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard aviators respond to wildfires in northern Minnesota

Wildfire Response CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Helicopter crews of the Minnesota National Guard joined firefighters May 6-9, 2016, in northern Minnesota to battle wildfires.

In response to requests made by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources through the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Governor Mark Dayton authorized the use of four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and support personnel to assist in suppression of wildfires across the Iron Range in northern Minnesota.

"Our mission was to provide aviation support to the wildfire suppression missions which assisted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources," said Maj. Jeremy Degier, aviation duty officer.

Minnesota Army National Guard rotary-wing assets were used in a coordinated effort amongst interagency partner assets to suppress wildfires, which successfully minimized the impact on the people, property and environment of Minnesota.

The Minnesota National Guard dispatched two of its UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the Army Aviation Support Facility in St. Cloud as a response to the fire May 6 near Skibo. Additional support came May 7 with two more aircraft from C Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion-211th Aviation Regiment. Support personnel from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth also joined the fight providing fuelers and vehicles.

"We started out dropping water from our 'Bambi Buckets' on the Skibo fire then moving to Hibbing; working with ground teams from the DNR," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Drew Glaze, UH-60 Blackhawk pilot with C, 2-211th. "They got us on target and guided us in for the best overall results."

The cooperation between the Army and Air National Guard units and civilian organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Department of National Resources stems from a long-standing practice of interagency cooperation and training.

"Our unit trains with the DNR on water drops and fire suppression up at Camp Ripley annually," said Glaze. "It's the best way to work on our communications and operation."

Before the fire season begins in Minnesota, Army aviation crews and wildfire teams from the Department of Natural Resources work together to train on fire suppression using air and ground assets collectively.

"Over the years our training program and joint cooperation exercises with the DNR have continued to improve and develop into a very successful partnership," said Capt. Shaun Meling, Liaison Officer for the wildfire mission.

May 18, 2016
by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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