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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Congressional Staffers Tour Pentagon, Camp Ripley and Air Wings

Earlier this month, Congressional Staff members were treated to a whirlwind tour of St Paul's 133rd Airlift Wing, The Pentagon in Washington DC, Camp Ripley, MN, and the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, MN This four day event brought together Congressional staffers from Minnesota and their counterparts from their DC offices to receive first-hand experience with the Minnesota National Guard, its history and future objectives

After a quick overview by the command staff of the Minnesota National Guard, participants flew to Washington DC aboard a 133rd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules out of St Paul Arriving in DC, the Congressional Staffers toured the National Guard Museum and were briefed by the National Guard Bureau The Congressional Staffers also had the opportunity to address concerns of their respective US Representatives

At the Pentagon, they discussed the extension of the 1/34th Brigade Combat Team, the latest TRICARE developments, and other issues important to the military in Minnesota with Secretary Thomas F Hall, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs

The staffers and their military escorts flew back to Minnesota to experience Army training at Camp Ripley After an environmental overview by the state DNR office, the group flew in UH-60 Black Hawks downrange where they took turns firing the main gun of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle

The next leg of the trip brought the staffers to the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth After a tour of the base, each attendee had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a F-16 Fighting Falcon The Congressional Staff Trip was capped off with a fine dinner at Mancini's Char House

By Staff Sgt Daniel Ewer
April 3, 2007
April 2, Minnesota Congressional Staff Trip photo gallery

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Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build

Posted: 2015-11-25  09:37 AM
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"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."

The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.

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Posted: 2015-11-17  10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: 2015-11-16  07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: 2015-11-12  12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

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