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Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation

Posted: November 17, 2015 10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: November 16, 2015 07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: November 12, 2015 12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

Minnesota Guardsman Honored for Her Work Against Domestic Violence

Posted: November 10, 2015 12:32 PM
Diaz award ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project recently honored Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Diaz, the Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, with the "Journey of Hope" award for her efforts to bring safety and justice to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

The BWLAP is a dynamic, state-wide program that serves battered women, their advocates, attorneys, and the general public. The organization is constantly reacting and evolving to meet the legal needs of battered women. In many cases they are the first resource victims turn to following a domestic violence incident.

According to Chief Diaz, the BWLAP's mission goes beyond responding to legal issues that arise from an episode of domestic violence.

DNR archery hunt continues success at Camp Ripley

Posted: November 09, 2015 02:21 PM
Archery Hunt CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Maintaining the tradition of one of the largest bow hunts in the country, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources along with the Camp Ripley environmental team recently wrapped up another successful bow hunt Nov. 1.

"The hunts were separated into a couple of two-day hunts," said Camp Ripley Environmental Supervisor Jay Brezinka. "Both events went very well."

The first hunt was held on Oct. 15-16 on Camp Ripley's 53,000 acres of wilderness. Over 1,500 hunters applied in advance for their permits through the Minnesota DNR.

Minnesota Guardsmen receive engaging presentation on sexual assault, culture change

Posted: November 07, 2015 10:02 AM
Russel Strand ST. PAUL, Minn. - Russel W. Strand spoke to more than 400, full-time Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen about the prevalence of sexual assault in the military and throughout the nation - and how to foster a new culture that blames the perpetrator, not the victim - during a two-hour, engaging presentation at the 133rd Airlift Wing's dining facility, Nov. 4, 2015.

"We were extremely fortunate to have Mr. Strand talk to our Soldiers and Airmen on culture change and sexual assault," said Chief Warrant Officer Jennifer Diaz, Minnesota Army Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "He is the forefront leader and subject matter expert on this topic. His energetic approach I feel was well received by all and brings a different perspective to the issues we face trying to combat this crime."

Sexual assault and harassment in the military has been a silent problem for many years, said Diaz, but in recent years leaders in all branches have taken greater strides in combatting it. Strand's no-nonsense approach to the subject made a different impact than the regular military briefings and computer-based training many of the Guardsmen have gone through before.

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