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Minnesota National Guard
1/34 BCT opens sixth water plant with international presence

CAMP ADDER, Iraq " Children, officials, sheiks, Italians, Australians and US Soldiers were present for the opening of a reverse osmosis water-treatment plant in Al Kuaam, Iraq, a small rural farming village of 2,000 people on the south bank of the Euphrates River on Feb 18, 2006

"We all know how important clean water is to public health, agriculture, and economic development", said Lt Col Larry Herke, chief of staff for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division "The water treatment plant is a great example of the Iraqi Government making progress to restore basic services to the people of Iraq," said Herke

The water purified by the plant is available to passersby through free faucets on site and distributed through out the village by water trucks for a fee

To put this in context, consider conditions before the plant opened: water was delivered from a neighboring city at the price near three US dollars for 45 gallons The average unskilled laborer in Al Kuaam earns about $30 a month Most families have at least eight members At the Red Cross's minimum recommended one gallon per person per day, a typical family's 240 gallon monthly water debt would cost more than half their total budget Unable to afford clean water, most families would draw water from the local rivers According to UNICEF, two million tons of raw sewage is released into Iraqi rivers each day Using contaminated water is one of the reasons why 80% of all patients at the local hospital suffer from water borne diseases

"The plant is capable of providing 20,000 liters of water an hour," said Capt Colin Fleming, deputy civil military operations officer for the 1/34 BCT

The 20,000 liters of water an hour is more than enough water for Al Kuaam The plant can now provide enough clean water for more than 150,000 people

The construction of the plant employed more than 45 local contractors and engineers funded by Coalition Forces through the 1/34 BCT Since unemployment in the area is a major cause of unrest, the workers and their family members are thankful for the jobs in addition to the safe water

The event was attended by Italian officials from the Provincial Reconstruction Team and Australian Soldiers of the Overwatch Battle Group West 2 Civil Military Cooperation team The Australian team attended to meet with local officials and work towards their own reconstruction projects in Dhi Qar province

Al Kuaam is located 70 miles west of An Nasariyah, the capital of Dhi Qar province in southeast Iraq

The Al Kuaam plant is the sixth of its kind opened during the deployment of the 1/34 BCT
The Minnesota National Guard 1/34 BCT includes Soldiers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, New Jersey, Georgia, and California plus several active-duty units

Spc Brian D Jesness
Feb 28, 2007
1/34th BCT Public Affairs


Feb 18, 1BCT Opens Sixth Water Plant photo gallery





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347th RSG units test unique capabilities during Combined Support Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-08-16  03:35 PM
347 RSG FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin - The 347th Regional Support Group commander and command sergeant major traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, 2017, to recognize several Soldiers training there.

The 204th Area Medical Support Company, 147th Financial Management Support Detachment and 247th FMSD are all conducting their annual training periods in neighboring Wisconsin, with their own mission-specific exercises that fall under the Combat Support Training Exercise taking place throughout the brigade.

The leadership duo of Col. Lowell Kruse and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson began their day with a stop at the 147th FMSD's training area, where they watched Soldiers participate in the Diamond Saber exercise. Throughout the event, the 147th FMSD - a 25-Soldier operation preparing for deployment - is exercising its dispersing, military pay and contracting functions in an interactive environment with actual customers to serve and transactions to process.



500 Minnesota soldiers notified for 2018 deployment

Posted: 2017-08-14  03:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2017

ROSEMOUNT, Minn.- More than 500 Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division headquarters have been notified of a possible deployment to Southwest Asia beginning in the fall of 2018.

"The Red Bulls maintain a high level of readiness, and over the next 12 months, our soldiers will train for this mission while also preparing their families and civilian employers here at home," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, 34th Infantry Division commanding general. "The official notification is an important step in the process of building readiness for an overseas deployment."

The planned deployment is expected to last up to one year. The notified units are based in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, and Faribault; however, the soldiers hail from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.



347th RSG trains to master tactical, uninterrupted sustainment support

Posted: 2017-08-10  08:14 AM
347 RSG CSTX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - After three busy days establishing a field command post and integrating units from across the country, the 347th Regional Support Group is underway with a three-week Combat Support Training Exercise during annual training at Camp Ripley.

It began with a Command Post Exercise on Aug. 8, 2017, but it couldn't begin until the tenants of "Tactical Assembly Area Victory" established meal service, sleeping arrangements, shower and laundry accommodations and, of course, the tactical command post.

"We do the exercise to make sure our equipment works, and once that is established we as a staff figure out how to sync together," said Sgt. Maj. Marc Dempsey, logistics operations sergeant major for the 347th RSG. "The exercise is for making sure we as a staff are working together as one team, with everyone knowing their role, for when we go into the main event."



Military kids participate in Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp

Posted: 2017-08-07  02:08 PM
Youth Camp CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Summer camp as a kid and young teen is usually filled with memories of campfires, swimming in the lake and BBQs. Camp Ripley Training Center hosted the Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp (MNGYC) for more than 200 military kids this year. The experience for the military kids who attend the camp relies heavily on donations and nearly 150 volunteers from around the state that come and spend the week with them.

Lindsay Koolmo is a volunteer and the executive director for the MNGYC. She is a military spouse, a volunteer firefighter and a mutations maintenance Tech Sergeant from the 148th Fighter Wing. She has taken upon herself for years to take time off her job and spend hundreds of hours throughout the year and more than two weeks at Camp Ripley to lead the camp.

Her affiliation with the MNGYC started early, in 1992 she was a camper, became a junior counselor, then was a junior counselor and then became an adult counselor.



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