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By the time the 950th Engineer Company left for Afghanistan late last year, the unit had spent 15 months of drill and a three-month deployment train-up preparing to clear improvised explosive devices and other hazards from the country’s roads.As a route clearance company, the Superior, Wisconsin-based unit expected to secure the key travel corridors that coalition forces use every day to move critical supplies, equipment and personnel throughout the region, and while part of the unit has conducted a route clearance mission, more than half of the unit is engaged in other missions.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — More than 60 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers from various units across the state donned the historic 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) patch during a June 16 ceremony held outside the division headquarters. More than 10 Soldiers from the Utah National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve also participated.The Soldiers are now assigned to the 101st as it became the Army’s first division headquarters to convert to a multi-component unit.The purpose of multi-component unit division headquarters is to fully integrate Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers into the modification table of organization and equipment (MTO&E), which is designed to close operational gaps in mission command capacity, while establishing cohesive, fully capable headquarters that can execute assigned missions.
VOLK FIELD, Wisconsin - Air crews from around the country descended on Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center for a two-week combat training exercise June 8-19.Air National Guard units from Madison, Wisconsin and Milwaukee joined others from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Duluth, Minnesota, Tucson, Arizona, and Mountain Home Air Force Base, Ohio, as well as an active duty Air Force unit from Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for Northern Lightning - an annual exercise that prepares air crews for combat against a near-peer adversary.The 2015 edition of Northern Lightning featured a first for an Air National Guard exercise as it incorporated privately contracted aircraft to simulate adversaries in the skies over Wisconsin.
One hundred and three at-risk teens from counties across Wisconsin graduated from a challenging 22-week program June 11 with the tools to make better life decisions and persevere through problems.The Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy takes teens out of an environment where bad choices were easy to make, and houses them for more than five months at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. The quasi-military setting builds positive values through physical and mental discipline, and transforms at-risk teens into cadets.Roland Pechie, a senior team leader at Challenge Academy and keynote speaker for the June 11 graduation ceremony at Mauston High School in Mauston, Wisconsin, used a rock quarry metaphor to explain the tough environment the teens came from and the condition in which they arrived — a mass of imperfect rock.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard's Soldier of the Year finished a whisper short of winning the 2015 Region IV Best Warrior Competition, held May 11-14 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.Spc. Derrek Ziegler — a member of Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry — finished second in a contest of the best lower enlisted Soldiers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.
One hundred and four cadets from 40 counties will graduate from the Wisconsin National Guard Challenge Academy June 11 during a noon ceremony at Mauston High School in Mauston, Wisconsin.Challenge Academy intervenes in the lives of 16-18-year-old Wisconsin youth at risk of not graduating high school. The 22-week quasi-military residential program at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin offers motivated and committed teens an opportunity to earn a high school equivalency degree (HSED), develop life skills, clarify values and strengthen relationships with family and community. Upon graduating the residential phase, Challenge Academy cadets are paired with hometown mentors for guidance and encouragement as they pursue a new direction in life.
Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, is scheduled to host aircraft and personnel from multiple Air National Guard and active duty units as part of the annual Northern Lightning combat training exercise June 8-19.The two-week long event will provide participating Airmen with valuable training in large-force aircraft employment against a near-peer adversary, incorporating the first use of contract aggressor aircraft in a National Guard Bureau exercise.According to Lt. Col. Christopher Hansen, CRTC director of operations, Volk Field is uniquely suited to support training exercises such as Northern Lightning.
WEST BEND, Wis. — Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, and Wisconsin National Guard senior leaders joined families and friends in sending off approximately 30 Wisconsin Army National Guard members of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment during a May 30 ceremony.The Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers will complete mobilization training at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying to Kuwait where they will conduct a medevac and maintenance support mission for approximately 12 months as part of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. They will train and deploy alongside Guard members from other states — the battalion's aviation units are located in Colorado and Nebraska as well as Wisconsin, as part of the National Guard's plan to have vital aviation assets available across the nation.
MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker promoted Brig. Gen. Murray Hansen, the Wisconsin Air National Guard chief of staff, to his present rank during a formal ceremony May 20 in the Senate Chamber of the state capitol.During the ceremony, Walker acknowledged that he carries uniform patches from the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard as a reminder of the service Guard members provide at the state and federal level."It's not just a job — it's an incredibly important responsibility," Walker said, "in many cases a responsibility that others in active duty weren't able to fulfill the way our men and women in the Wisconsin National Guard can. We understand the importance — we know that's why it's so important to have great leadership."
Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen joined forces for a two-day Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) exercise at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, May 1-2.The exercise allowed service members to prepare for the first-ever CERFP one-day inspection, scheduled to be held next month."This is going to be the first team to be evaluated using a one-day evaluation process, so they are kind of in the spotlight," said Travis Dauer, National Guard Bureau Joint Collective Training Branch weapons of mass destruction-chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear analyst.