The Minnesota National Guard's enduring goal is to provide an agile, resilient force, ready to fulfill any federal, state or community need. The Minnesota National Guard's success relies on its ability to provide military assets when called upon, working with interagency partners to enhance joint-response capabilities.
In order to fulfill its obligations to the state and nation, the Minnesota National Guard focuses on six priorities that guide the organization through decision-making and mission-planning processes, ultimately ensuring a unified and consistent response.
The past several years presented the Minnesota National Guard with many fluid and dynamic events that tested the organization's ability to operate under fluctuating budgets and strenuous mission requirements.
Though the operational circumstances and challenges have varied, the Minnesota National Guard's six priorities provide a fundamental blueprint that ensures success of the mission while maintaining personnel and equipment at optimal levels.
- Fielding a competent ready force
- Maintaining an optimal force structure
- Cyber security and response
- Develop sustainable infrastructure
- Service members and their Families
- Diversity of the force
| Optimal Force Structure
| "We optimize our force by structuring our personnel, equipment and capabilities to accomplish current and anticipated missions."
The priority of ensuring the Minnesota National Guard has the right units, in
the right locations, trained to do the right job, requires constant evaluation and
organizational flexibility. Coupled with budgets, strategies and mission requirements
– both state and federal – that change from year-to-year, the Minnesota National
Guard is continually focused on fine-tuning its force structure, upgrading equipment
and improving training efficiency.
In 2016 the Minnesota National Guard fielded dozens of new pieces of equipment,
weapons systems and information technology enhancements in the form of tactical
communication systems and application software upgrades. Because the Minnesota
National Guard has gained a reputation for quickly training service members on
proper use and maintenance of new equipment, the organization’s physical property
has moved to the forefront of military-issued equipment. This effort also aligns the
Minnesota National Guard with the Department of Defense’s Total Force Policy, an
effort to enhance the interoperability of active and reserve units in order to seamlessly
combine efforts to accomplish both domestic and overseas missions.
New equipment in 2016 included the addition of two retrofitted Small Unit Support
Vehicles, a tracked vehicle designed to support small teams during operations in all
types of environments and terrains. With the increase of inventory allocated to units
across the state, the Minnesota National Guard has enhanced its ability to support
local responders in emergency response utilizing a vehicle that can navigate snow, ice
A total of 11 units moved geographic locations in 2016 to ensure specialized teams
are stationed as close as possible to where their skills will be best utilized, while taking
advantage of new building openings and armory renovations. The 434th Chemical Company, which was based out of the now-closed Northfield armory, moved to
the recently-remodeled Hastings armory allowing a more robust work space while
shortening unit distance to the 55th Civil Support Team in St. Paul – a unit the
434th often works and trains with. Additionally, as preparation efforts for the
implementation of additional cyber defense teams into the organization continues,
the Minnesota National Guard is exploring the most robust and tech-savvy
communities as potential homes of these new assets.
In 2017 the Minnesota National Guard will continue to develop and maintain its
relationships with the National Guard Bureau to keep abreast of new equipment
offerings and national policy changes that may affect the Minnesota National Guard’s
future force structure.
Additionally, the organization will continue to implement the Readiness Center
Transformation Master Plan, a 20-year plan implemented in 2015 that guides
the Minnesota National Guard through a process of constructing, consolidating
and closing some of its facilities. The plan was the result of a years-long study that
assessed long-term facility condition, capacity for improvements, demographics and
travel considerations for unit members – all of which will ensure the Minnesota
National Guard’s force structure is prepared for changes in the years to come.