23 May 2014

After Dinner with Family, It's 'Wheels Up' for 34th CAB

After "dinner with the family," 220 Minnesota National Guard citizen-soldiers of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (34th C.A.B., pronounced "cab"), and the 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion (2-147th A.H.B.) are wheels-up on the next step of a one-year deployment to Camp Beuhring, Kuwait.

Earlier this month, the soldiers conducted pre-deployment readiness training at Camp Ripley, Minn., including weapons qualifications, hand-to-hand combatives, and combat lifesaver training. After a May 17 send-off ceremony, the non-profit organization "Serving Our Troops" dished up dinner for some 3,000 military families and supporters at the Saint Paul Rivercentre.

"The Serving Our Troops team comprised of dedicated sponsors and volunteers from across Minnesota was proud to host this event, our 10th of its kind since 2004," a statement by the organization reads. "In addition to serving up a first-class steak meal with all the trimmings, cold beverages, greetings from special guests, and free tickets to the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Children's Museum, it was most importantly a message of appreciation on behalf of a community to our soldiers and their family members."

According to the Minnesota National Guard, the mission of the 34th CAB is to support the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Infantry Division and the state of Minnesota by providing aviation assets for both federal and state active duty missions. The aviators of the 34th CAB fly the UH-60 "Black Hawk" and CH-47 "Chinook" helicopters. The headquarters is based in St. Paul. While deployed, the 34th CAB will provide command and control to aviation assets throughout Kuwait and the surrounding region. The 2-147th AHB will provide aviation support to similar areas.

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