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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 D.C., 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 D.C. 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 D.C. aboard a 133rd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules out of St. Paul. Arriving in D.C, 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 U.S. 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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