/*********************************************** * 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
7 Nations, 4 Branches, 1 Mission; Saber Strike '17

Saber Strike 17 PABRADE, Lithuania - As the sun begins to set on the Lithuanian countryside, the final touches are put on the camouflage netting designed to break the silhouette and conceal the position of the Tactical Action Center, or TAC, of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division on June 17, 2017. As part of the multinational exercise of Saber Strike '17, the 1/34th ABCT is providing support to the Air Assault Task Force Commander, Col. Charles Kemper.

As the first ever combined air and ground assault in the annual Saber Strike exercise, this year's exercise has set a milestone in testing the compatibility of seven nations and all military branches.

"We want to reassure all of our NATO Allies that we are in this together," said Kemper. "We're part of the team and we can demonstrate capability."

Kemper also stated that the U.S. is beyond just assurance; we've moved to deterrence. We are going to deter anyone who poses a threat to our NATO Allies and demonstrate our capability to let them know that we are an alliance that is going to stand ready with our partners.

"This exercise is designed to build and increase the interoperability of all NATO contributing countries allowing us to boost our capability to react quickly to any world threat that occurs," said Capt. Josip Jurjevich, a Croatian Air Force helicopter pilot attached to the 1/34th ABCT Aviation element.

Throughout the planning process, American Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen worked side-by-side with service members from the United Kingdom, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania and Portugal, testing their ability to work together as one cohesive unit and ultimately forming a NATO enhanced Forward Presence, or eFP, Battle Group.

A challenge that takes time to overcome is the fact that you are taking people from different sides of the world to work together on the same mission when they don't have the same ways or customs of doing things, said Jurjevich. Saber Strike is a great opportunity for all participating nations and units to gauge where they are in regards to working as a cohesive unit.

During the planning process, the U.S. aviation planner implemented input from the two Croatian pilots attached to the TAC to plan helicopter air corridors from the Pickup Zone to the Landing Zone. Their counterpart took their input into consideration and implemented it into the overall mission.

"Even if something is better than our process, that is great, we've learned something, or if it's not, then we can bring something forward for them to learn," said Jurjevich.

With all seven nations converging at the Kazlu Ruda airstrip, the newly-formed Task Force Red Bull conducted an air mission brief and a combined arms rehearsal. These two briefings are held to work out the final details of the air and ground force to ensure all nations and their assets are marching to the same drum.

Improving overall coordination and professional relationships with Allies and partner militaries during this exercise has become a focal point for all those involved. A strong foundation of trust is crucial when forming a relationship with members of the NATO alliance.

Tight living quarters shorten the period of time it takes to become comfortable with one another, said 1st Lt. Josip Perich, another Croatian Air Force helicopter pilot attached to the 1/34th ABCT. "With 18 of us crammed into only two trucks working together on the mission, we are able to develop trust and confidence in one another very quickly."

A pre-established relationship between nations through exercises like Saber Strike is meant to lay footwork for a long-lasting rapport with all of our fellow NATO Allies.

"We were like a family in two small trucks, working together, sweating together for the same collective mission," said Perich.

June 20, 2017
by Sgt. William Boecker
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



Download best photos





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Article archive
 
top