|Competent Ready Force
|"We provide the required personnel, equipment and partnerships to ensure we have a competent, ready force to meet the needs of our state and nation."
The Minnesota National Guard is committed to providing the state and nation a trained, prepared and equipped force, capable of responding to any community need or federal mission.
A competent and ready force is achieved by recruiting the right mix of people, then training them to do specific jobs and assigning them to units across the state. Additionally, units are required to ensure their Soldiers and Airmen are proficient in operating the most up-to-date equipment, and large-scale exercises are routinely executed to evaluate performance and strengthen partnerships with outside agencies.
Personnel readiness, which is achieved when units ensure that all of their people are administratively and medically prepared, is the final component to fielding a competent and ready force.
In 2014 several training events were conducted, including the Vigilant Vortex exercise. The exercise gauged the organization’s ability to respond to simulated disasters across the state to include tornadoes, chemical spills and power outages. In conjunction with nearly 30 local, state and federal agencies, the Minnesota National Guard was able to fine-tune best practices and prepare for the larger-scale Vigilant Guard exercise in 2015.
For the first time in its 41-year history, the Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange was held in the summer. For two intense weeks, Minnesota National Guard members trained alongside Norwegian Home Guard counterparts, sharing military tactics and equipment, fostering partnerships and understanding cultural ties between the two allies. In Croatia, Soldiers with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team trained on tactics with their counterparts.
The financial effect of sequestration will present unique challenges in 2015 and beyond. Funding to send Soldiers and Airmen to military schools will be significantly reduced. In order to ensure the organization remains trained and ready, leaders will prioritize and identify Soldiers and Airmen who need Military Occupational Specialty training and additional training that will prepare them for future deployments.
For the past several years the Minnesota National Guard has exceeded personnel readiness standards and will strive to continue that trend in 2015 and beyond. Accomplishing this is critical, and will help ensure Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are prepared to execute their assigned missions when called upon.