/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Mechanics Keep Vehicles Rolling

CAMP ADDER, Iraq - While other troops are resting, the Soldiers of Company B, 134th Brigade Support Battalion burn the midnight oil to ensure hard-driven vehicles stay safe on the road
Since arriving in Iraq in April, the approximately 100 troops in the Minnesota National Guard unit have worked long hours and sometimes battled the elements to accomplish their maintenance mission

Chief Warrant Officer Steven Serie, the battalion maintenance officer for the 134th BSB, said the troops have a good reason to work as hard as they do others are depending on them

If we don't do the best job that we can do and something happens to those vehicles when they're out on the road, we could lose one of our friends, one of our relatives, someone that we know, said Serie, who often turns wrenches alongside the rank and file of Co B

Even though they are just two months into their tour in Iraq, the troops have already overcome many obstacles Bravo Company is the first unit in Minnesota and one of the first in the entire National Guard to be reorganized as a field maintenance unit

Under this new system, companies no longer maintain their own maintenance personnel and instead defer to a battalion-level element that performs everything from organizational to direct support maintenance

Being the first field maintenance unit in their state meant the troops in Co B had to undergo an especially long six-month training period at Camp Shelby, Miss, before reaching Iraq As if the daunting length of the deployment weren't enough of a challenge, Co B arrived to find there was already a long line of vehicles and they were behind schedule Many of these vehicles had been in use since the invasion in 2003 and were in such bad condition they would break almost as soon as they were repaired

They are just taking a pounding, Serie said about the vehicles

> The Soldiers are also taking a pounding The unit has their shop running 24 hours, seven days a week

After experimenting with several different work schedules, the unit settled on a routine in which most of the crew work a shift from 11 pm to 11 am to avoid stifling midday temperatures

Spc Matthew Kroulik, 21, a Co B mechanic, recalled when a sandstorm rolled through in the middle of the night He put on a filter mask like the ones used by doctors to help him breathe and continued working

Despite the late hours, Kroulik said he likes the nocturnal schedule

They make for long days, but sometimes you feel a little more accomplished, you get a little more done, said Kroulik who was a school bus driver and student at Wynona State University in Minnesota

While the mechanics put their noses to the grindstone, other sections work repairing air conditioner systems, SINCGAR radios, ballistic glass, weapons, and whatever other odd jobs are needed to keep the vehicles ready for Iraq's perilous roads All of the sections work 12 hour days and seldom get days off

Leaders say the teamwork has paid off Between April 25 and May 13, Co B mechanics corrected about 950 faults in more than 100 vehicles Leaders are optimistic that if they continue at the same schedule, they should be caught up by the end of June

I think they have performed exceptionally, said Capt Heidi Gauderman, the company commander They are motivated, excited to do their MOS (military occupational specialty)- they are really dedicated to getting these trucks out on the road

Written by Spc Spencer Case

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Article archive