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Minnesota National Guard
In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Following Hurricane Irma, another CH-47 aircraft and crew was dispatched to Jacksonville, Florida. The six personnel assisted the Florida National Guard, operating out of Cecil Field.

In response to the destruction Hurricane Irma brought to the Caribbean, the 133rd Airlift Wing sent 14 personnel from the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron to Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, to be on standby to conduct emergency medical evacuations. The Airmen remained at Scott Air Force Base from Sept. 9-15.

At the same time, 27 Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing traveled to the Virgin Islands to conduct aerial port operations at Cyril King Airport in St. Thomas. They re-established airport operations after Hurricane Irma and assisted in evacuating individuals out of the area before Hurricane Maria hit. The Airmen stayed in Savannah, Georgia, until the hurricane passed and then returned to the Virgin Islands where they continue to assist with airport operations.

"I've been doing this for 28 years and I've never seen so many curve balls thrown at a group and they've tackled every one of them and it's been fantastic," said CMSgt. Rick Shumacher with the 133rd Airlift Wing. "I can't be more proud to be part of this mission, especially with a bunch of different organizations working together, it's been incredible."

In addition to the Airmen in the Virgin Islands, the 133rd Airlift Wing sent seven Airmen with specialized communications equipment to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 25. The Airmen will assist in re-establishing critical communications in support of Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

"Being activated and going through this entire experience is really good training, not only for being an aerial porter, but as an individual and seeing the conditions that other people like the civilians on this island have to go through and the impact that we're having," said Staff Sgt. Heather Boutin with the 133rd Airlift Wing. "I'm willing to make sacrifices so that other people can live comfortably."

Also during the month of September, the Minnesota National Guard supply warehouse at Camp Ripley shipped more than $1 million in medical supplies to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The Minnesota National Guard will conduct recovery operations in the areas impacted as long as needed and is preparing for additional requests for assistance in the coming weeks.

September 29, 2017
by Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

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Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."

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."

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