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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls reunite with loved ones after peacekeeping mission

2-135 return BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Bloomington Army National Guard Armory was lined with dozens of family and friends, and some dogs, as they awaited the long-anticipated arrival of their Soldiers with welcome home signs, flowers and cameras on June 7, 2017.

After a nine-month peacekeeping mission to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, more than 200 Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment arrived back to Minnesota.

Signs reading "I could wait forever, but 333 days is enough" and "We're happy you're home!" lined the sidewalk outside of the armory. The family of Staff Sgt. Andrew Hardin, the supply sergeant for B Co., 2-135th Infantry Battalion, waited nervously with a big welcome home banner and the anticipation of reuniting with him after the deployment.

"I'm super excited," said Jasmine Botz, Hardin's girlfriend. "I'm happy he's back home with our family."

Hardin echoed this with a big smile and saying, "I'm very excited to be home."

Also waiting for the Soldiers to arrive was a special dog named Waldo, who was brought to the US from Egypt by 1st Lt. Garith Scherck. Waldo was one of several dogs who the Soldiers befriended overseas, rescued and had brought back to the U.S.

While deployed in support of the Multinational Force and Observers mission, the southern Minnesota "Red Bull" units provided force protection, served as a quick reaction force and contributed to enforcing the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

June 7, 2017
by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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National Guard Soldiers advance to all-Army Best Warrior Competition

Posted: 2017-07-22  11:02 AM
ARNG BWC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Fourteen of the Army National Guard's most elite Soldiers gathered on Camp Ripley Training Center in central Minnesota July 17-20 to determine who would compete in the all-Army Best Warrior Competition later this year.

Although every Soldier gave it their all, only one noncommissioned officer and one enlisted Soldier would claim the title of Army National Guard Best Warrior. The room was tense as everyone awaited the results during the final awards ceremony.

"We told you we were going to do everything but break you," said Command Sgt. Maj. Doug Wortham, the Minnesota National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor. He summarized the four days explaining how the competitors all came from their respective states as individual competitors and through the competition ended up as comrades. "You were stressed, you were challenged. You guys did a fantastic job... But, the devil's in the details."



Fourteen Soldiers. Twelve States. One Competition.

Posted: 2017-07-16  09:45 PM
ARNG BWC One Soldier (junior enlisted) and one NCO (non-commissioned officer) will emerge at the top at the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition held at Camp Ripley, Minn., July 17-20, 2017, and move on to represent the Guard in the All-Army Best Warrior Competition in October.

The competitors have been conducting last-minute training since July 12 at Camp Ripley by honing their skills on various weapons, maintaining their physical strength and endurance, and reviewing military tasks.

"I'm feeling very confident," said Cpl. Joseph Garback, a cannon crewmember with B Co., 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey National Guard. He's been preparing with the other Region 1 competition winner, Sgt. Zachary Scuncio. Garback says he has really liked the hands-on preparation at Camp Ripley and believes he's had an ample amount of time to prepare.



Minnesota-based Combat Aviation Unit Soars into Battle Phase of Bilateral Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-07-16  09:52 AM
34th CAB CAMP ATTERBURY, Indiana - More than 140 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade have established a presence at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where they are supporting and engaging in high-level military operations and synchronization training.

Members of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit, which is adept at providing a wide spectrum of aviation support, recently dove into the battle phase of the bilateral training exercise Talisman Saber 17. Throughout the exercise, much of their training will focus on air-ground integration -- or synchronizing aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.



Camp Ripley to host National Guard Best Warrior Competition

Posted: 2017-07-10  10:50 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2017

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Fourteen soldiers from 12 states, representing seven Army National Guard regions will compete July 17-20 at Camp Ripley in the Army National Guard's
Best Warrior Competition.

"This competition will test the soldiers' ability to perform tasks that are vital to our ability to fight and win our nation's wars," said Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Wortham, senior enlisted advisor for the Minnesota National Guard. "We will push them to their limits to test their endurance, strength and resilience - qualities that our soldiers must possess to be successful."

The four-day competition will feature several events to test the soldiers both physically and mentally. The soldiers will demonstrate their proficiency with weapons, their physical strength and endurance, their ability to perform military tasks and their ability to put their knowledge to use under pressure.



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