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Minnesota National Guard
Editorial: The yellow ribbon -- and beyond

An almost palpable wave of relief spread across Minnesota this month as 2,600 members of the state's National Guard began to arrive at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, turn in their weapons and head home to their families after a harrowing and marathon deployment in Iraq It's as if Minnesotans could take a breather from the divisive and discouraging debate in Washington and celebrate something simple, local and heartfelt: the safe return of their sons, daughters, spouses, parents and neighbors

Writing in the Weekly Standard last week, columnist William Kristol argued that you cannot simultaneously support the troops and harbor doubts about the war We wish he could have been in Anoka or Mankato or Albert Lea Minnesotans, regardless of their political views, united around their Guard members -- admiring their courage, respecting their sacrifice, celebrating their safe return

One puzzling aspect of this costly, protracted war is that many Americans seem numb to the fact that their nation is at war -- a spell that is broken by the hugs and tears of farewells and homecomings

This does not mean that pride and relief for the troops should silence questions about the strategy The latest CBS/New York Times poll shows that 69 percent of adults disapprove of President Bush's handling of the war -- with similar doubts about Congress -- and that a plurality wants the troops out now When young Minnesotans are risking their lives in Iraq, they deserve a clear statement of the mission, a plain definition of success and a plausible strategy for victory

If Americans seem fatigued by the war in Iraq and the debate it has engendered, that's no surprise The conflict has lasted longer than World War II, yet seems nowhere near a conclusion or even a clear definition of what the conclusion might be

One virtue of a government that enshrines civilian control of the military is that you can separate your opinion of the troops from your opinion of the politicians and the decisions they've made Americans forgot that distinction during the Vietnam War, an error that helped make it one of the most divisive episodes of the 20th century This time around, the wounds of war must heal much faster

Published: July 29, 2007

Source: www.startribune.com



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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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