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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Air National Guard Provides Crash Rescue Support at Ham Lake Fire

On 14 May 2007, the 148th Fighter Wing deployed two firefighters and a P-19 Crash/Rescue vehicle to the Cook County Airport in Grand Marais Minnesota The mission was to provide Crash/Rescue Support to four heavy water dropping helicopters; three Sikorsky S-61 helicopters were staged at the Cook County Airport, and one Erickson Aircrane was staged 1/2 mile south at the old Devils Track abandon airfield The 133rd Airwing was also involved in the Ham Lake fire operations The 133rd Airwing provided two fire fighters to relieve the 148th members from their duties

The helicopters were all civilian contract company's that had been contracted by the US Forest Service to provide water dropping air support for the Ham Lake fire Three of the helicopter had installed a water storage tank on the under side of the helicopter, and one was equipped to carry a water dropping bucket The Erickson Aircrane was the most impressive bird of the four The Erickson Aircrane is used around to world for firefighting and construction operations The Aircrane was equipped with a 2,950 gallon water storage tank The Aircrane storage tank has seven different door opening drop positions, for the purpose of one massive water drop, or it can limit the water opening and disburse water over an extended fire line The Aircrane was also equipped with a hydraulic assisted jet-siphon tube that could fill its storage tank in 38 seconds

Helicopter water dropping operations were very heavy shortly after the fire started, and continued until Monday 14 May 2007 All four helicopter assigned to the Cook County Helibase were flying water dropping mission eight to ten hours a day Each helicopter would fly missions for approximately two hours, return to the Helibase, hot refuel, then return to the mission for another two hours of fire fighting After approximately four hours of flying, each helicopter crew would have to take a mandatory rest period If the contract company had two crews which some did, the helicopter would then almost immediately return to its fire fighting mission

The Cook County Airport was never closed during this operation, the US Forest Service had assigned Chris Havener as the initial Helibase Manager, to monitor all helicopter operations and movements The Helibase Manager is also in charge of all personnel and resources assigned to their Helibase The Helibase Manager has a large fiscal responsibility to ensure all the proper paper work is collected form the US Forest Service personnel and assigned contractors on a daily basis The Helibase Manager would then forwards the financial information to the main Incident Command Post (ICP), where this information is tracked to help calculate a total daily operations cost of extinguishing the fire

Incident Command System (ICS) which plays a huge roll during any fire, it is truly exemplified by the US Forest Service during a wildland forest fire The US Forest Service has developed a great process for implementing the Incident Command System (ICS) and utilizes all facets within the ICS process Incident Action Plans (IAP) are also created and briefed daily to all assigned personnel at the fire incident

14 May, 2007

Additional Wildland Fire Statisics according to the US Forest Service:

In 2006 the wildland fire season set records with the number of wildland fires and acres burned In 2006 there were a total of 96, 385 wildland fires reported, and over 9,873,429 acres that burned in the United States The Air National Guard was mobilized nine times to assist wildfires that burned in North Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, California, and Minnesota

Ham Lake Fire Statistics:
Total acres burned: 75,851 36,443 acres in the US, 39,408 acres in Canada

Resources and Fire Cost: 16 Helicopters, 5 Engines, 17 Water Tenders, 4 Dozers, 3 Medium Air Tankers , 2 Heavy Air Tankers, Over 10 miles of firefighting hose, 693 Personnel
Estimated Cost as of 19 May 2007: $8,812,25800

May 14, Minnesota National Guard fights Ham Lake Fire photo gallery





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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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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