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Minnesota National Guard
From Hell to High Water

As southeastern Minnesota continues to clean up from the deadly weekend flooding, residents are getting plenty of help from National Guard Soldiers from southwestern Minnesota Thirty-two Guard Soldiers from the Marshall unit have served in the flood area since Sunday, and will likely return home today, said local Guard Sgt Timothy Green In all, about 150 of the total force of 240 Guard Soldiers activated come from the 1-151st Battalion, which includes units from Marshall, Montevideo, Morris, Olivia, Madison, Ortonville and Appleton Green said the Marshall unit was in the midst of a drill weekend and family picnic Sunday when the call came that 30 Soldiers were needed for the flood response "Getting those 30 Soldiers was a task, because everybody wanted to go," Green said "It was like, "˜no guys, you can't all go' We basically had to go off the roster then "The support for this was overwhelming That's because these guys are willing to go off and get to work" The families watched as Soldiers loaded their gear and hit the road Sunday They arrived at around 11:30 pm Sunday night, slept and quickly were deployed Monday morning They are using the Caledonia school building as a staging center, and also doing some work based from LaCrescent, Green said Mainly, the local Guard have been doing security work and going door-to-door, knocking to make sure residents are safe The flooding has been blamed for at least six deaths in southeastern Minnesota A Minnesota National Guard news release said the support includes two UH-60 medical evacuation helicopters, 80 Soldiers conducting on-site security in the Winona area and a quick-reaction force of 150 to search and secure towns in Houston County Many of the local Soldiers activated for the flood work are the same ones who returned a year-and-a-half ago from war duty in Iraq This is their first major response since the return from Iraq, Green said "Some of the guys were commenting, "˜wow, we finally get to do what we signed up to do,'" Green said about the disaster response He was part of the Guard response to floods in Montevideo and Granite Falls in 1997 and 2001, as were others in the unit That should help them deal with what they are encountering this week, he said "They are very busy and it's taking a lot of time," Green said "I imagine it's 12-hour shifts for them" Green said it also helped that Friday, the battalion took part in a quick-response drill in Olivia, simulating securing the airport there "And two days later we got the call (to go to the flooding)," he said "If this was going to happen, it was good timing" While 2,600 other Guard Soldiers returned to Minnesota last month from a long deployment in Iraq, they remain under federal control for 90 days and weren't able to respond to the flood crisis - even those from that area, Green said That's a reason why so many from southwestern Minnesota were activated for flood duty, he said While the nature of Guard service has changed significantly since the war began, Green said responding to local disasters is still perhaps the most rewarding aspect of Guard duty He said Soldiers are well fed at the scene by the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and local residents appreciate the help "When you're joining the Guard, the first thing you think of is stuff like this," Green said "There's something about helping your neighbors out"
Article source: http://www.marshallindependent.com/News/articles.asp?articleID=15012

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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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