Minnesota National Guard Continues Critical Role in Middle East [AUDIO]
CAMP RIPLEY – Earlier this month we marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. With Operation New Dawn, U.S. soldiers are no longer serving in combat missions in Iraq, but we still have a lot troops in the region.
Minnesota National Guard Spokesman Major John Donovan says Camp Ripley currently has a ministry unit stationed in Kuwait.
Donovan says Kuwait has been a very stable place during the entire time the soldiers have been there. He says they have a significantly large support base there, and troops stationed Iraq would often get a 96 hour pass to Kuwait.
Donovan says a company stationed out of Monticello just got back and is on U.S. soil, after serving a mission in Afghanistan.
Right now in the war in Afghanistan, an aviation unit based out of St. Cloud is providing combat air medical support to soldiers.
Donovan says the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which have lasted for over a decade now, hasn’t hurt their recruiting. He says the Guard has had a decade of extreme growth.
Donovan says recruiting has been off the charts, and they currently have a waiting list, despite the fact the role of a National Guard soldier has changed over the years. They now sign-up with an expectation of going to war.