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Minnesota National Guard
Community Helps Soldiers and Airmen Train in Practical Exercise

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen often train through any types of conditions or weather

However despite the rain and cold, over 200 civilian volunteers helped the Minnesota National Guard to train for a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERF-P) validation to come on August 25

CERF-P validation is important in times of natural disasters, industrial accidents or in times of crisis

"Like any National Guard assistance mission, we are ordered to duty by the Governor upon the request of a country sheriff or Class-A city mayor," said Lt. Col. Timothy Kojetin, 84th Troop Command Brigade Officer in Charge and the commander of the MN CERF-P

CERF-P consists of four different elements; command and control team, search and extraction team, decontamination team, medical team According to Lt. Col. Kojetin, not all elements will be needed for every emergency The CERF-P is modular and they will bring only what they need

Units attached to the CERF-P include the 850th Engineers based in Cambridge, the 434th Chemical Company based in Northfield, Minneapolis, Redwing, medical personnel from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St Paul and 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth and the Headquarters detachment of the 84th Troop Command based in Minneapolis The unit consists of 186, but had about 200 Soldiers and Airmen trained

United Way organized over 200 civilian volunteers to participate in the training exercise Some local companies encouraged participation by giving their employees a "˜day away' to volunteer in their communities

"Our company, every year, always does a project thought United Way," said Karen Wood of St Paul, Minn "They let us take the day to volunteer and they encouraged us to do it"

"For this exercise, they told us that we would be actors and actresses," said Wood "We did get an email saying that you should wear swimsuit and layers; but overall we really had no idea what we were getting into"

The volunteers gathered through the Salvation Army and United Way were enthusiastic, despite the wet, cold and rainy weather conditions

"They (volunteers) reported to the Minneapolis Armory and received training clothes and three makeup people gave them a variety of fake wounds and injuries," said Lt. Col. Kojetin They each received a casualty card with a personal story to be replicated or acted out during the exercise

The Minnesota CERF-P unit was evaluated in all main areas for all elements, said Lt. Col. Kojetin "We received a "T" or trained in every task Our search and extraction team completed their tasks in 1/3 the time available with nearly flawless results We were extremely thrilled with our successes and so were our evaluators"

Not only was the morale of the Soldiers and Airmen was high, but the civilian volunteers remained enthusiastic despite the weather and long hours

"We started at 7am," said Chad Liberty of Stillwater, MN " I knew we would be helping simulate a disaster and I was happy that I could have the opportunity to help the National Guard out"

"The most I heard someone going through the line they went through six or seven times," said John Rooney, a United Way representative "People wanted to experience both the ambulatory and non ambulatory types of treatment," said Rooney

According to Lt. Col. Kojetin, the Minnesota CERF-P team will now be able to be used to assist civilian first-responders as required They could respond to any emergency in our region or back-up another CERFP anywhere in the country

"It makes me feel safer that we have a certain group of people that are certified in this kind disaster training," said Wood

Sgt Lynette R Hoke
27 Aug, 2007

Aug. 23, CERF-P Training Exercise 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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