/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
American meal welcomes warriors

American meal CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard and Norwegian Home Guard gathered together at the Camp Ripley Hanger Conference Center June 20, 2016, for the American Meal as part of the Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange. The exchange began in 1974 and is the longest-running military exchange partnership between any two nations.

The event, centered on the taste of American foods, shared the cultural and social experiences typically found here in America.

"It has been a pleasure to be here; we have a lot to learn from each other and it starts right here, with the young members of our two military organizations," said Brig. Gen. Sandra Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard.

As an honored guest of the American Meal, Vietnam veteran and Silver Star recipient Steve Stotka received a thunderous applause from those attending and was recognized along with his family for their service to the country.

"It took me a while to convince him to go, but once there he truly enjoyed talking with the soldiers," said cousin Kathryn Stotka. "Steve talked all the way home and into the night, I truly believe this is therapy for our veterans."

Despite his hesitancy, Steve Stotka joined the members of the 2016 U.S./Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange for an evening meal on Camp Ripley. This would be the first time the Minneapolis native had ever been on Camp Ripley and the first time since the early 1970s that he set foot on a military installation.

"I had a hard time with it," Steve Stotka said. "I had my fishing and my hunting ... that was it."

While amongst soldiers of Operation Desert Storm, Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, as well as several other campaigns, he witnessed the passing of gifts between the two organizations, the comradery of Service members, with little more than a few days of knowing each other, and the recognition of a "job well done" by senior leaders.

"It has been my great honor to have seen this program from both sides," added Best.

For Steve Stotka, his time in service may have been in the past, but the natural acceptance of brothers-in-arms drew him into several conversations with the young Norwegian and American soldiers. Many extended their hands to Steve Stotka and thanked him for his service well into the night.

With the deep rumble of Blackhawk helicopters in the background, the remaining members of the exchange shared in stories and each other's company around a few fire rings.

"It was a great night, with everything involved, it reminded many of us of our time overseas," said Maj. BjA�rn Pinslund, Norwegian officer-in-charge.

June 22, 2016
by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



Download best photos

Download all photos
Article source
http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/4059627-camp-ripley-2016-norex-emdash-american-meal-welcomes-warriors



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



Article archive
 
top