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Minnesota National Guard
The wait is over; Minnesota Red Bulls enter "The Box"

Red Bulls at NTC FORT IRWIN, California - As the sun peaks the mountain tops on the final day of the Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration phase for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, nearly 6,000 Soldiers load gear, mount vehicles and await the call to move out of the Rotational Unit Bivouac Area, or RUBA, in Fort Irwin, California, June 10, 2016.

"The movement means the Brigade will be headed into an unfamiliar area where the opposition force has the distinct advantage of knowing the terrain very well and have had a chance to be acclimated to the heat," said Spc. Travis Pugh, a dismounted Infantryman for the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armored Regiment. "We are entering their playground, so we have to be on our toes at all times and never get complacent."

"They" are the opposition force, or OPFOR, comprised of Soldiers from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, an active duty unit dedicated to testing units in "The Box." Now, after two years of preparation, the 1/34th ABCT will enter the force-on-force maneuver phase of their National Training Center rotation, where the Red Bulls will finally square off against the 11th ACR "Blackhorse."

"Being prepared and having a quick distribution of information is key for our rotation at NTC." said Pugh. "At any time we have to be ready to move a whole battalion or even brigade element as quickly as possible so we can re-establish our foot print and bring the fight back to the OPFOR."

One of the larger tasks during RSOI was ensuring each piece of equipment has been checked, double-checked and staged with Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES, gear installed and validated. Using lasers, sensors and blank cartridges, MILES simulates an actual battle to give Soldiers the most realistic training possible.

Also, Soldiers here get to train on systems that just aren't always available, said Pugh. While at Fort Irwin's Range 16, Pugh and other select Soldiers from around the Brigade participated in a live-fire exercise utilizing the Javelin - a Soldier-carried, fire-and-forget anti-tank missile used to disable vehicles with a single strike.

"We've come here to be able to leave better Soldiers than we came," said 1st Lt. Sean Bottin, executive officer for Alpha Company, 1-194 AR (CAB). "From the individual Soldier to team and squad, all the way up to the battalion and brigade level, we will improve and integrate our fighting and movement drills on a massive scale."

Along with the training opportunity comes the extended time away from families, Bottin said. It's not the easiest thing to be away from spouses, kids and family for as long as is expected.

In addition to the 1/34th ABCT Facebook page, which has provided loved ones back home a first-hand account of what their Soldiers are doing at Fort Irwin, Bottin said his family is connected with his unit's Family Readiness Group and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network. These two programs provide support to the families of those away from home by sharing information and providing support when needed.

June 13, 2016
by Sgt. William Boecker
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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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.



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Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
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"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.



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Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
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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.

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Minnesota Guardsmen participate in Aurora 17 exercise in Sweden

Posted: 2017-09-25  09:06 AM
Aurora 17 SKOVDE, Sweden - Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled overseas in mid-Sept. 2017 to take part in a cooperative, national defense training exercise with allied countries.

"The education and experience these Soldiers will receive is invaluable," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Hybben, 1-194th command sergeant major. "Our Soldiers will have operated in joint forces operations with fire and maneuver, which will allow for best practices to be shared and used in the future. They will have a better understanding of other military forces and how they operate not only strengthening our force but everyone involved."

The Brainerd-based battalion spearheaded the mission to Sweden as the most recent element of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division to have taken part in joint international training missions throughout Europe since early 2017.



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