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Strong alliances are built on personal relationships, and the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom perhaps grew a bit stronger after an exchange program partnered officers from both countries together for two weeks in Wisconsin.Capt. Orrin Viner, with the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Madison-based Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry, hosted Lieutenant Nick Mellis, a British officer with the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry as part of the Military Reserve Exchange Program, June 6-19.
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Communications are critical during a disaster. Getting information and data to the right people at the right time can save lives. That's why the Wisconsin National Guard — along with Wisconsin Emergency Management, Winnebago County Emergency Management and Winnebago County Sheriff's Office — hosted a multi-agency communications exercise.State Interoperable Mobile Communications Exercise — or "SIMCOM-Vital Connection 2015" — was held May 5-7 at the Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The exercise tested mobile emergency communications from more than 30 federal, state, tribal, local governments and volunteer agencies. The goal is to develop relationships and understand the capabilities of other agencies and their equipment before they are needed in a real emergency. Specific operations being tested this year included data sharing, radio frequency bridging and patching, and network failures.
Fourteen Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers concluded nearly a month of decontamination operations at the site of an Avian Flu outbreak in Jefferson County May 15.The Soldiers were called to state active duty to support the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's (DATCP) effort to combat the spread of the H5N2 virus which has affected hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys at several sites across the state.
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.
Two events aimed at honoring employers that support Guardsmen and Reservists helped kick off Armed Forces Week in Milwaukee in mid-May.Employers and service members gathered at an awards breakfast at the Milwaukee War Memorial Center May 11, while just hours later, the CEO of Rockwell Automation, a Milwaukee-based Fortune 500 industrial automation and information solutions corporation, signed a statement of support with the Wisconsin Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program.The day's events highlighted the important role employers play in defending the nation.
For many years, the Army was content to leave electronic warfare in the hands of other branches of the military, but as the Army's technology has grown increasingly sophisticated, so has its own organic electronic warfare needs.That growing demand for trained electronic warfare personnel is now playing out in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, where a small, but growing number of Soldiers are joining formations around the state.
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.