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MADISON, Wis. — The state’s revised homeland security strategy should be seen as a roadmap that guides state and local response to such potential hazards as cyber attacks, asymmetric or terrorist threats, and catastrophic incidents as well as sustaining response capabilities already developed.That’s according to Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general and Gov. Scott Walker’s homeland security advisor. In the latter role, Dunbar chairs Wisconsin’s Homeland Security Council, comprised of representatives from 16 state agencies and first responder organizations.“This strategy is Wisconsin’s homeland security keystone document,” Dunbar said during an official presentation ceremony July 10 in the governor’s conference room at the state capitol. “It’s a core document, the foundation on which the rest of our plans and programs will be built upon.”
FORT MCCOY, Wis. - Once upon a time, more than 1,500 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers manned 54 155-mm self-propelled howitzers in three field artillery battalions - the 120th, 121st and 126th.By 2006, the 120th had converted to the smaller M119 105-mm howitzer, the 121st had converted to the Multiple Launch Rocket System and would shortly transition to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), and the 126th turned in its field artillery mission to become the 257th Brigade Support Battalion. Outside of the 426th Regional Training Institute, Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers had not fired the large cannon in nearly a decade.
FORT MCCOY, Wis. - With broken ribs, a punctured lung and the loss of his spleen, Spc. Charles Kaufman could have opted out of his unit's deployment to Iraq in 2005.But the Fairchild, Wisconsin resident who joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Company C, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry with his cousin Kelly was not going to stay home. A month after falling out of a tree stand, he joined his unit in Iraq.
Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, Wisconsin's deputy adjutant general for Army and the senior officer of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, began an additional assignment earlier this month as the special assistant for diversity to Gen. Frank Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau.In this three-year assignment — known as a dual-hat assignment — Anderson will advise Grass and other senior National Guard Bureau leaders on policies or programs that will impact diversity in the National Guard. He will also recommend new policies or programs — or changes to existing programs — that increase diversity and fosters an inclusive environment. This responsibility, Anderson explained, aims to develop a stronger organization which reflects the communities the National Guard serves.
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.
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."
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The state of veteran unemployment in Wisconsin is improving — but more can be done."Because of the good work of our Department of Veterans Affairs and the successes we've seen across the entire state over the last four years, we've been able to cut our veterans unemployment rate literally in half," Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said in Green Bay at the first of three Governor's Summits on Wisconsin Veteran Employment. "The more we are able to do that, the better off we will be."Capt. Joseph Ledger, formerly the manager for the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs' Wisconsin Employment Resource Connection (WERC) program and now the project officer for National Governors Association Veteran Employment initiative in Wisconsin, noted that in 2012 unemployment among Wisconsin veterans was around 10 percent. Two years later, the rate had improved to 5 percent, with preliminary indications that unemployment among veterans was continuing to drop in 2015.
VOLK FIELD, Wis. - Wind, snow and freezing rain couldn't douse the warm welcome families and friends gave the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 829th Engineer Company Monday afternoon."This is the best weather I've seen in nine months," said Pvt. 2nd Class Hayden Panzer, a plumber with the 829th, as he walked from the passenger jet to the hangar where dozens of families eagerly awaited their Soldiers. His family was unable to make it to the welcome home ceremony, but visiting them was on top of his agenda after the ceremony.