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Minnesota National Guard
St. Cloud aviators deploy to Afghanistan

B 2-211 deployment ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Families, friends and the St. Cloud community gathered to send off 20 Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's B Company, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, July 7, 2016, as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan.

"You have demonstrated you're trained and ready to execute the most demanding and complex aviation missions and all other required training prior to mobilization," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade. "Not only are you proficient in your wartime tasks, you are citizen-Soldiers who have additional skillsets from your civilian careers that the Army simply does not have. You're ready for anything that comes your way and I have the utmost confidence that whatever situation the team is faced with, you will succeed."

The Soldiers recently completed training at Camp Ripley, Minn., and will now move to Fort Hood, Texas, for additional training prior to departing for Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel and Resolute Support.

"To the Soldiers deploying with Bravo Company, know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed," said Capt. Nolan Kohlrusch, company commander. "I have witnessed with sheer amazement your professionalism, your ethic, your dedication and your sacrifice. Your unwavering commitment has made this unit truly great."

The unit has deployed twice before - in 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 2011 in support of Operation New Dawn. Of the 20 Soldiers, 16 have deployed previously and nine of them have deployed two or more times before.

"These 20 Soldiers are the embodiment of a team," said Kohlrusch. "We hold each other up when times are uncertain; we pick each other up when we are down; we always stay together."

The company provides support for combat and combat service operations, air assault and the aerial movement of troops, equipment and supplies.

"As individuals we are great in our own rights, but as a team we are an undeniable combat multiplier on the battlefield and will provide our brothers and sisters in arms aerial support like they've never felt before," said Kohlrusch. "We will provide the Afghanistan and coalition forces vital support to ensure their success and will be able to aid a nation in finding stability."

Kohlrusch spoke to the family members present and reiterated that the safety and wellbeing of his Soldiers was his top priority. He also praised the families as their most important support channel and thanked them for their continued support.

"I'd ask you to find pride in knowing that your Soldier is fighting for liberty, freedom and our national security," said Kohlrusch. "They are embarking on a year-long journey that will take them halfway around the world so that your freedom and safety will never, ever be in question. We do this to ensure our children, our childrens' children and generations to come have the same freedom we now have and even greater opportunity and prosperity in the future."

July 8, 2016
by Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Minnesota National Guard to highlight diversity and leadership development at Women's Leadership Forum

Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.



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Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
133 AW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.



Minnesota National Guard to send aviation assets to support Hurricane Harvey

Posted: 2017-09-01  10:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Dayton has approved 11 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade to support response efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The soldiers will depart today from St. Cloud via CH-47 chinook helicopters to conduct aviation operations in Texas.

"I am glad that Minnesota will be able to assist the victims of the terrible tragedy in Texas, with 11 Minnesota National Guard soldiers accompanying two Chinook helicopters to join in relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota soldiers, who will travel to Texas to provide this critical relief. I encourage all Minnesotans, who are able, to donate to the qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist in any way we can."

The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade is an Army National Guard unit that supports disaster response operations by providing aviation capabilities - both UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.



'Highly Effective:' 148th Fighter Wing Excels

Posted: 2017-08-24  07:36 AM
148th FW DULUTH, Minn. - For four days in early August, a team of inspectors from the Air Combat Command's Inspector General team (ACC/IG) inspected, evaluated, verified and validated the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing (148FW) in Duluth.

The results were impressive.

From Thursday, Aug. 3rd to Monday, Aug. 7th, during the course of the 148FW's August Drill Weekend, nearly 50 inspectors flew up to northern Minnesota to take a closer look at the 148FW during a Unit Effectiveness Inspection (UEI).

Their white IG badges conspicuously dangling around their necks, the inspectors spoke at length with the 148FW Airmen, asking them about their training plans, and their file plans, their checklists and their ability to accomplish their given mission. Documents were reviewed, reports were validated and equipment was inventoried. The inspection was as thorough as it was exhaustive.



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