By Pat Pheifer
The (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star Tribune
Published: May 18, 2013
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -- The Shadow, an unmanned aerial vehicle commonly known as a drone, roars to life on the video screen like a powerful snowmobile before it's launched into the skies on a catapult.
Unfortunately, weather conditions prevented the real thing from taking flight Friday morning as the Minnesota National Guard officially launched its new $3.9 million Unmanned Aircraft Operations Facility.
Agricultural Development Teams deploy farming experts to help rebuild Afghanistan's war torn food system.
When most National Guard units prepare to deploy to Afghanistan, they focus on tactical training--land navigation, weapons skills, working with interpreters, counter-IED techniques, basic first aid.
But Colonel Eric Ahlness, commander of the Minnesota National Guard's Zabul Agribusiness Development Team, or ADT, brought his unit to an Amish farm.
Last week, field water experts from the Minnesota Army National Guard and U.S. European Command traveled to Zagreb, Croatia to conduct a Field Water Treatment Workshop with partners from the Croatian Armed Forces from May 7-9, 2013.
The visit was very timely well timed as Croatia anticipates being fully operational within NATO's Capability of field water treatment by January 2017, and is currently in the process of developing a field water team. They were therefore very interested in information provided by their state partners, Minnesota, and EUCOM. During the two-and-a-half day workshop, the US field water experts shared expertise with their Croatian counterparts on a spectrum of topics including reconnaissance, water source selection, environmental health, NATO water quality standards, technologies, planning, maintenance and other considerations.