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Minnesota National Guard
City, Military Unite

"Today, the Armed Forces Reserve Center is a reality," Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer announced last week during a long anticipated ceremony

The July 28 event served as the official ground breaking for the new Cambridge Armed Forces Reserve Center, to be constructed just west of the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus

The center is planned to be a joint facility shared by the Minnesota Army National Guard, US Army Reserve and the Cambridge community

Each of these groups has a different level of interaction with the general public, said CPT Jess Ulrick, commander of the Guard's 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, who served as master of ceremonies at the ground breaking

Shared facilities, he continued, will consist of a gymnasium, fitness center, banquet/reception center and several classrooms for community-related events

The Armed Forces Reserve Center will further house 175 Soldiers from the Guard's 850th HEC and 50 more from the Army Reserve's 704th Chemical Company

Construction on the proposed $10 million center - a 56,000 square-foot facility estimated to occupy about 25 acres on the west side of County Road 70 - is scheduled to begin this fall and reach completion around winter/spring 2009

Federal, state and city governments are sharing the cost

"Today is an important day for Minnesota National Guard history," said Col Joseph Kelly, executive director for the Guard, speaking at the ground breaking ceremony

He noted the National Guard has been interested in pursuing a long-term relationship with the city and neighboring communities through the Armed Forces center project

"Since we've been in Cambridge, we've been glad and fortunate to be here," Kelly added "This has been a model project and we offer our thanks to (the Kelly and Hokenson families) for their patriotic donation of 25 acres of prime land

"We plan on being here in Cambridge for a very long time," he finished

It began with an idea

The project began with a brainstorm some 15 years ago in part by Minnesota National Guard Command Sergeant Major Robert Boone He had served on the city council in the later 1980s and early "˜90s

"The city council talked about (the Armed Forces center) then Hope was there

"It took an instrument like this to get it going," said Boone after the ground breaking ceremony

Further, the support of the community and region has been "nothing short of phenomenal," added Boone, speaking on behalf of the National Guard "We're here for the long haul New buildings and communities are not chosen lightly This is a very long-term commitment

"The senior leadership of the Minnesota Army National Guard couldn't be more pleased with the Cambridge-Isanti community"

Other proposed plans

As a focal point, the joint facility will offer a sizeable assembly hall, which may include the gym for basketball and volleyball or perhaps a banquet and reception area for community use

Other proposed and future enhancements at the center may involve a kitchen, swimming pool, child care center, indoor play area, information visitor center, outdoor ice hockey rink and general ice, warming room and locker/restrooms for outdoor ice complex

Concepts also include athletic fields, located just east of the center and bordering what will be become Spirit River Drive South

By Jon Tatting
Wednesday, 01 August 2007
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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

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.

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