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Twenty-two Soldiers of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived at Fort Hood, Texas Dec. 17 after being deployed to Kuwait as a part of the Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC) - and 21 of those Soldiers arrived in Madison, Wisconsin Dec. 20 to waiting families and friends.

Maj. John Brosius, BDOC commander, remained behind at Fort Hood to finish up demobilization administrative details while the rest of the returning Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers went ahead to Wisconsin.

MAUSTON, Wis. - The 33rd class of the Wisconsin National Guard's Challenge Academy celebrated its graduation at Mauston High School Dec. 20.

A testament to the "challenge" aspect of Challenge Academy, 107 of the 169 at-risk teenagers - 63 percent - who began the course July 24 walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

MADISON, Wis. ó In Afghanistan, their job was to safely ferry very important people ó brigadier generals and higher ó across an austere landscape in a small airplane.

But for the families and friends gathered Dec. 16 at a hangar in Madison, Wisconsin, each of the seven members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Detachment 52 returning from a nine-month deployment was a VIP.

MILWAUKEE - Emotions ran high Dec. 13 as families began to gather in the Milwaukee Room at General Mitchell International Airport. Melissa Kluka was one of the first to arrive at the airport, anxiously awaiting the arrival of her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kluka.

As Kluka's wife waited alongside their daughter, Mya, she grabbed an extra pack of tissues and a bottle of water. She waited for about 10 minutes before walking over to the concourse gate to wait there, almost 45 minutes before her husband's flight was scheduled to land.

MILWAUKEE - Elves lined the hallway as families arrived Dec. 13 to pick up their Santa Liner boarding passes. Christmas music played in the background and tinsel and lights draped the ceilings. As the children rounded the corner to the small air terminal, smiles beamed across their faces ó Mrs. Claus was waiting for them. These children were about to take a ride of their lives to the North Pole.

The 128th Air Refueling Wing hosted the 30th annual Flight to the North Pole, an event for children battling life-threatening illnesses to take a special ride to the North Pole.

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.

PORTAGE, Wis. - The public had the opportunity to honor a special part of the past of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 132nd Brigade Support Battalion headquarters, and see new training accommodations, during an open house Dec. 6 at the unit armory.

Visitors could stop at various displays explaining the storied history of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and see current equipment the unit uses to conduct its mission.

Sgt. Michael C. Black, a combat medic in the Wisconsin Army National Guard from Brookfield, Wisconsin, was awarded the Soldier's Medal for providing lifesaving medical care to a young mother involved in a serious auto accident. He is one of three currently serving Wisconsin National Guard members to be awarded this medal.

The Soldier's Medal is approved by the President of the United States and is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who distinguish themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.

Three of the 90 women featured in the exhibit "In a Heartbeat" at Arlington National Cemetery's Women in Military Service for America Memorial have Wisconsin National Guard connections.

Col. Joane Mathews, chief of staff for the Wisconsin Army National Guard, Staff Sgt. Sonia Buchanan with the Wisconsin Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, and Carolyn Morgan, a former Wisconsin Air National Guard technical sergeant and former Service Member Support Division member, each have black-and-white photos and a short personal message on display at the exhibit, which runs through September 2015.

Approximately 40 Soldiers from Sussex, Wisconsin-based Battery A, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery, landed safely in the United States Dec. 2. The group represents approximately half of the nearly 80-Soldier unit that originally deployed to Afghanistan in the spring.

The remainder of the unit will remain in Afghanistan and continue providing high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) fire support until a later date to be determined.

The Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing and the Madison, Wisconsin-based 115th Fighter Wing essentially comprise two-thirds of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. The two units often train together - the 128th's KC-135 refuelers frequently refuel the 115th's F-16 fighter jets, but they also team up on other state projects and missions.

But that cooperation cools off inside a hockey rink.

Every time the Soldiers of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 950th Engineer Company go out on a mission, they know they are saving lives.

The route clearance company from Superior, Wisconsin, which is in the final phase of its pre-mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas, is one of just a handful of units within the Army specifically designed to combat the threat posed by improvised explosive devices. Secure roadways and infrastructure are key to the international coalition's military efforts in Afghanistan. They are also vital corridors for Afghan civilians trying to go about their daily lives.

Soldiers and family members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 829th Engineer Company have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as the unit landed safely on U.S. soil Nov. 25 after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

The 160-Soldier unit returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, where it will go through the de-mobilization process before returning to Wisconsin.

In military parlance, decorations typically refer to military medals and awards worn on the uniform, representing honorable achievement.

In much the same way, the hand-made decorations that adorn the Tribute to Our Troops tree at the Executive Residence honor the service of deployed Wisconsin service members, as well as the memory of Wisconsin service members who have died.

VOLK FIELD, Wis. - Thirty-two military personnel and 23 civilians, all from the state of Wisconsin, joined together for three days of unified reception, staging, onward movement and integration training and exercises at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, Nov. 17-19.

The three-day training and exercise event was designed to test the knowledge and response capabilities of all personnel involved, should an emergency situation arise in the state. Development of the URSOI process integrates state agencies and the National Guard during state emergencies and allows them to work together efficiently.

Two hand-selected teams of Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen trained at Volk Field, Wisconsin, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 to respond in the event of an Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the state.

The teams, known as Joint Healthcare Assistance Teams, could augment hospitals and medical professionals if the virus were to surface in Wisconsin. The National Guard will train and prepare a third JHAT Dec. 10.

GREEN BAY, Wis. - For 10 family members of deployed Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers, it may have been the next best thing to being there.

Standing on Lambeau Field, home of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers, the family members saw their loved ones on the stadium jumbotron screens, sending a live videoconference from Afghanistan as part of the Packers' "Salute to Service" game Nov. 9.

Gov. Scott Walker and first lady Tonette Walker invite family members of Wisconsin's service members - past and present, home and away - to send a holiday ornament dedicated to their loved one for this year's "Tribute to our Troops" holiday tree.

The ornaments will be displayed on one of the large evergreen trees in the executive residence during December's holiday tours. The ornaments can be plain or fancy, as well as personalized.

When the Soldiers of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 951st Engineer Company participated in a patching ceremony Sept. 28 at both the Tomahawk and Rhinelander Army National Guard armories to receive the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's distinctive Red Arrow unit patch, it marked the beginning of a transformation in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

The unit, formerly part of the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade's 724th Engineer Battalion, received the Red Arrow patch as a part of the ongoing Army-directed reorganization of units in the Wisconsin National Guard.

A Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier joined elite company when she graduated as the runner-up honor graduate at the Army's Sapper leader course. She became just the second female in the state to complete the grueling course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and the 66th nationwide.

2nd Lt. Kayla Krueger, currently assigned to the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 229th Engineer Company, was the lone female in her class that began with 40 Soldiers. She graduated second in her class in August with just 13 others when the course concluded 28 days later.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will partner with an active duty brigade combat team to share knowledge, tactics and best practices as part of an Army initiative to build collaboration between the National Guard and its active duty counterparts.

Called the Total Force Partnership Program, each active duty brigade combat team will be paired with a sister National Guard brigade combat team. Wisconsin's Red Arrow will be paired with the Army's Third Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

Excellence doesn't just happen. It requires continuous improvement, self-assessment and a commitment to being the best.

That mentality has resulted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard being named a finalist in the annual Army Communities of Excellence competition.

The proof was in the pudding, so to speak, regarding the culinary skills of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Headquarters Company, 257th Brigade Support Battalion food service section. But now the best mess section in the Army National Guard - and second best in the reserve component - has the hardware to show for it.

Unit representatives were on hand to receive a plaque, engraved with their achievement in the 2013 Department of the Army Philip A. Connelly Awards Program, during an Oct. 18 ceremony in Daley Hall in the Wisconsin Military Academy, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Seven companies from the Wisconsin Army National Guard's most diverse battalion came together at Volk Field in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, for a rare weekend of combined training Oct. 17-19.

On the surface, the 641st Troop Command Battalion is made up of individual units with seemingly little connection. The battalion includes units like the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, the 135th Medical Company, the 273rd Engineer Company, the 132nd Army Band, the 457th Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Company, the 1967th Contingency Contracting Team and its battalion headquarters company.

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - Retired Master Sgt. David Voght spent the final seven years of his 30-year military career at the Wisconsin Military Academy as an instructor and staff noncommissioned officer. The positive impact he made during that time was recognized Oct. 11 when he was inducted into the Wisconsin Military Academy Hall of Fame.

SUPERIOR, Wis. - While U.S. operations in Afghanistan are changing - military bases are closing, fewer troops will deploy there in the future, and Operation Enduring Freedom will transition to Operation Resolute Support - the need to keep traffic routes clear of roadside bombs has not changed.

That important job will soon fall to the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 950th Engineer Company, which will head to Fort Bliss, Texas for several weeks of pre-deployment training before they hit the roads in eastern Afghanistan.

Approximately six months ago, the topic was brought up: Could the 115th Fighter Wing help a local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8483 move an F-4S Phantom II static display from Indiana to Wisconsin?

More than 30 U.S. Airmen with the civil engineering squadron of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard, completed hands-on annual training while gutting and renovating a cabin that belongs to Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin Sept. 13-27.

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - While the new class of second lieutenants and warrant officers formed a relatively short line as they filed in for their commissioning ceremony Oct. 11, the Wisconsin National Guard's senior officer extended that line back to Concord and Lexington nearly 230 years ago, and the shot heard 'round the world.

Cyber crimes in the news recently have included the electronic looting of credit card information from large retail chains, and posting explicit or compromising celebrity photos lifted from supposedly secure accounts.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard's 950th Engineer Clearance Company spent the first part of October at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, preparing for its upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. - Citizen Airmen are spread throughout our community. They work as fire fighters, policemen, accountants, teachers and administrators. They are prepared to deploy at a moment's notice, and their training provides them with valuable tools they can use in their everyday lives.

Four Airmen with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 128th Air Refueling Wing received Air Force Association awards Sept. 18 at the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C.

GREEN BAY, Wis. - During a visit to Pioneer Elementary School in the Ashwaubenon School District, Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin's adjutant general, and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch announced the return of the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program to Wisconsin classrooms.

A group of 27 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers put on their packs to honor the nation's fallen during a half-marathon in Whitewater, Wisconsin, Sept. 21.

Earlier this month, the 115th Fighter Wing learned that it would receive the 2013 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - its eighth such award.

The importance of military-to-military partnerships and cooperation has been on display in recent weeks as the U.S. and partner nations work to combat the growing threat posed by extremist militants in the Middle East.

When you're only the second National Guard field artillery unit to conduct a combat fire support mission in Afghanistan, you're in select company. That's where the Soldiers of Battery A, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery find themselves as they continue their deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

When communications sections chief Staff Sgt. Sean Huolihan was deployed to Afghanistan, he had no idea that his additional duty as the unit historian would land him a gallery showing of his photography work at the National Guard Museum in Washington, D.C.

MILWAUKEE - Before the sun crests the treetops that flank that backside of Airman 1st Class Richard Wengler's house, the 36-year-old father of two young boys gives them a kiss goodbye. He prepares to leave one career and report for duty at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Maintenance Squadron, for his other career. This sounds familiar to most who serve in the military, leaving their family to report for service. Unlike most people who have a 40-hour work week to earn an income working in an office, working for a municipality, or working for the local cable provider, Wengler's full-time job does not garner him a paycheck. It offers him something many parents would love to say is their full-time career. Wengler is a stay-at-home dad.

Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin's adjutant general, hosted an online town hall Sept. 16, where he took questions from deployed Guardsmen, their families and other service members on a wide range of topics.

Not everybody in uniform taking the field this season at Miller Park - home of Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers - was a professional baseball player.

Approximately 70 employers and employees from the Madison area attended an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) event here Sept. 5, recognizing employers who went above and beyond in their support of Guard and Reserve service members.

As the nation reflected on the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Wisconsin National Guard's 54th Civil Support Team was hard at work training to combat terrorism here at home.

When most teenage boys turn 15 years old, they're only thinking about themselves. Not Ben Sampson, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade played a role in a major international military exercise in August.

Hybrid vehicles are coming to the Air National Guard, and 10 Airmen are now better prepared to handle their specific maintenance requirements after completing the Air National Guard's very first hybrid vehicle maintenance course Aug. 29 at Volk Field.

MADISON, Wis. - Retired Brig. Gen. Gerald C. Olesen was inducted into the Wisconsin Air National Guard Hall of Fame during a Sept. 6 ceremony at Joint Force Headquarters.

The names from antiquity - Sophocles, Ajax, Tecmessa - may sound strange to modern ears. But the message they bring should resonate as clearly today as when they were first delivered nearly 2,500 years ago.

MADISON, Wis. - When Aaron Hunnel crosses the finish line at the Ironman Wisconsin Sept. 6, he will join many of the other competitors in completing his first Ironman triathlon.

Though small in number, a Wisconsin Army National Guard unit is doing big things in Afghanistan.

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing recognized three outstanding senior enlisted leaders during a recent promotion ceremony.

MADISON, WIS. - The Wisconsin National Guard will host two performances of the Theater of War: Soldiers and Citizens Tour at the DeForest Area High School Performing Arts Center Sept. 6 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Even with the kickoff to football, the fall sports season and the start of their collegiate academic careers looming, freshman student-athletes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found time to write letters of appreciation to deployed Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

The Green Bay Packers honored more than 75 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard in a pre-game ceremony Aug. 22 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Approximately 130 Airmen from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing participated in RED FLAG-Alaska, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Aug. 7-22, where they refreshed skills and faced real-world scenarios to test their abilities in a high-paced environment.

MADISON, Wis. - Airmen pouring concrete, turning windows into walls and installing doors were active throughout the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin, August 3-22.

The Wisconsin Air National Guard's 128th Air Control Squadron earned the right to call itself the best in the Air Force.

Members of Wisconsin state government and representatives of the state's congressional delegation visited Wisconsin National Guard facilities at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15.

When Sgt. 1st Class Cody Krepline returned from Afghanistan after his 2013 deployment with the Wisconsin Army National Guardís Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery, he began the process of reintegrating back into civilian life.

The engine is loud. Shadows from the rotor blades are constantly hitting the ground. The Airmen inside are given the go-ahead to exit the UH-60 Black Hawk. One by one they exit, ducking down to ensure they avoid the blades.

Approximately 95 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 950th Engineer Company will deploy to Afghanistan this fall.

The Superior, Wisconsin-based unit specializes in route clearance and combating threats posed by improvised explosive devices. The 950th also has a detachment in Spooner, Wisconsin.

Thirteen Soldiers and one Airman from the Wisconsin National Guard earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency during testing held at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, earlier this year.

A tiny rope, less than an inch in circumference, holds his entire 250-pound body. Keeping the rope in his right hand, he moves it away from his body and quickly pushes off the wall using his feet. The slack allows him to jump a story and a half down the wall. When he's ready to stop, he pulls the rope back behind his body and with little effort comes to a stop. Before long, he makes a few quick maneuvers back and forth with the rope. When he is comfortable, he completely lets go.

Pilots and support personnel from the 115th Fighter Wing relocated to Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin, for the month of July.

The Wisconsin National Guard's 54th Civil Support Team (CST) is lending a helping hand to the state's top hazardous materials (hazmat) teams as they work to validate their skills and equipment to be ready to respond to the most serious chemical spills and events that could occur in Wisconsin.

Air crews from the Wisconsin Army National Guard played an important role in the 2014 Patriot Exercise held July 21-24 at Volk Field, Wisconsin.

What do John Philip Sousa, Van Halen, George Strait and Duke Ellington have in common?

FORT McCOY, Wis. ó When the food service section of the 132nd Brigade Support Battalion's Headquarters Company served chow to about 100 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers July 12, it also served notice of its intent to advance in the Philip A. Connelly Awards Program food service competition.

“I was terrified,” 16-year-old Julliana Barlow of Marshall, Wisconsin, said, as she described her feeling as she climbed the stairs to the top of the rappel tower.

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Army National Guard will vacate two armories under a plan to reorganize its units and consolidate operations.

When the Army officially established the warrant officer corps 96 years ago, its original members were billed as subject matter experts in their particular crafts. The role of the warrant officer in the military actually traces its lineage back to early naval history, when boatswains served as the continuity aboard ships when captains moved on to new assignments. The boatswains knew the ship inside and out as well as its limits, capabilities and what it took to run the ship, which allowed for seamless transitions when new captains took the helm.

The Wisconsin Army National Guard's Headquarters Company, 257th Brigade Support Battalion was named the reserve component food service section runner-up in the Department of the Army Philip A. Connelly Awards Program.

CAMP PERRY, Ohio - One of the best rifle marksmen in the National Guard hails from Wisconsin.

Construction engineers with Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB) transformed a barren training area into a working forward operating base (FOB) during training on Fort McCoy's North Post.

HARTFORD, Wisconsin - Soldiers with the Wisconsin Army National Guard transported an M60A3 tank from in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Hartford, to its new home in Woodruff, Wisconsin, as part of a training exercise June 16.

MAUSTON, Wisconsin - The 32nd class of the Wisconsin National Guard's Challenge Academy celebrated their graduation at Mauston High School here June 12.

The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team welcomed new commander Col. Mike Rand during a change-of-command ceremony conducted at the Wisconsin Military Academy at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, June 12. Rand and outgoing commander Col. Tim Lawson shared words of encouragement and thanks, while speaking of furthering the storied legacy of the 32nd Brigade.

During the Second World War, Soldiers from the National Guardís 32nd Division landed in Australia to begin a combat campaign that took them from the jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines to Japan.

The U.S. Army announced June 5 the winners of its chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear competition for 2014.

The 426th Regiment Regional Training Institute (RTI) welcomed its new commandant during a Change of Responsibility ceremony June 7 at the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

When Pvt. Rylie Denson graduates from Poynette High School this weekend, she will take the next step toward her future in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

The Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing Fire Emergency Services worked alongside their civilian colleagues from neighboring fire departments during a full-scale exercise at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin June 3.

Brig. Gen. Ken Koon knows a thing or two about having National Guard units ready to deploy.

MADISON, Wis. - Though they hope to never have to use these skills, Airmen from across the 115th Fighter Wing recently completed certification that allows them to decontaminate, triage, stabilize and prepare to transport up to 100 people in the event of chemical, biological or radiological contamination on base.

After an unintended break due to sequestration, the Wisconsin Air National Guard's STARBASE Wisconsin program has resumed operations in Milwaukee.

MADISON, Wis. - It was standing room only. All eyes were on the man in the front. He stood tall and proud at attention - hands cupped into a tight fist, arms straight and tight against his sides.

Even though the 4 a.m. phone call was part of an unannounced training exercise, the Wisconsin National Guard's 54th Civil Support Team (CST) responded as if the threat was real.

MADISON, Wis. - With seven collective strokes of a pen, the Wisconsin National Guard's Diversity Strategic Plan took effect during a May 20 ceremony in Witmer Hall at the state Department of Military Affairs.

Almost five years ago, near midnight, on Oct. 1, 2009, Sgt. Ryan Adams and his fellow Soldiers were conducting a convoy mission in Logar Province, Afghanistan. As they pushed on, through the blackness of night, two unidentified men were spotted on a hill near the route where the convoy was headed. As they monitored the bystanders, one of them lit up a cigarette. Immediately after that, the lead vehicle was hit with a rocket propelled grenade.

OSHKOSH, Wis. - Members of the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Emergency Management tested their mobile communications skills during the State Interoperable Mobile Communications (SIMCOM) Exercise in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, May 15. This was the first time the annual exercise was held in Northeast Wisconsin.

Two Wisconsin Army National Guard units on the verge of deploying to Afghanistan received a visit from their senior leaders as they trained at Fort Bliss, Texas, this week.

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Despite a determined effort, neither of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's two Soldiers will advance beyond the Region IV Best Warrior Competition to the National Guard Bureau's competition this year.

VOLK FIELD, Wis. - The large room was filled with rank. Airmen from around the country ranging from chief master sergeant through lieutenant general were in attendance at the 2014 Air National Guard Executive Safety Summit, held May 11-14 at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.

MADISON, Wis. - Members of the Leinenkugel brewing family visited the 115th Fighter Wing May 3.

Despite an extremely cold winter endured by 10 Wisconsin Army and Air Guard members during their train-up for the 2014 Lincoln National Guard Marathon, the team set a state record in making this year's All Guard Marathon Team, May 4.

The Wisconsin National Guard was part of an emergency preparedness exercise May 2-3 with the city of Portage, Columbia County Emergency Management and Divine Savior Hospital, testing their disaster response capabilities.

Retired Col. Michael Fonger of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, retired Col. Michael Williams of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, and 1st Sgt. Gregory Fulton of Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin were inducted into the Wisconsin Army National Guard Hall of Honor during a May 3 ceremony in Madison, Wisconsin.

VOLK FIELD, Wis. - Recruiters from across the nation joined together for training at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin, April 27-May 2.

The Wisconsin Army National Guardís Recruiting and Retention Battalion officially joined the mobile application world as it launched its new mobile app May 2.

VOLK FIELD, Wis. - A group of Wisconsin Air National Guardsmen graduated April 24 from the inaugural State Enlisted Development Program at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.

A new program launched earlier this month can help Wisconsin residents ó including veterans and service members ó receive commercial driver's licenses and guaranteed placement in the trucking industry.

MILWAUKEE - For Ken Sweet, 92, the beginning of the Wisconsin Air National Guard can be traced to lofty dreams in a low time.

ARLINGTON, Va. - Service members, including Air Force Maj. Jason Park, chief of safety with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 128th Air Refueling Wing, from across the different military branches of service recently had the opportunity to participate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program in the District of Columbia.

"Ladies and gentlemen, in second place, Team 32 - Capt. Robert Killian, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Colorado Army National Guard, and 1st Lt. Nicholas Plocar, 127th Infantry, Wisconsin Army National Guard."

The Wisconsin National Guard continues to take the fight against sexual assault of its military members seriously.

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - After battling rainy conditions, the Wisconsin Army National Guard wrapped up its three-day Best Warrior Competition Sunday.

Most people strive to make a name for themselves and show they are an individual - not just like anyone you would see walking down the street. This can sometimes be a challenging concept to overcome, especially when you come from a military family.

Four mentally and physically grueling days proved to be a challenge for Spc. Micah Lancaster, but through it all he came out with a smile on his face.

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - At 5 a.m. today (April 11), 15 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers representing units across the state began their day with push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run - the first three events in a demanding three-day gauntlet that will test their abilities in marksmanship, physical fitness and endurance, land navigation, Soldiers skills and military bearing. The grueling schedule will also test each competitor's composure.

Ten years ago on the night of April 9, 2004, Spc. Michelle Witmer and her sister, Rachel headed out on a patrol through Baghdad. Members of different squads within the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Military Police Company, Rachel's vehicle turned one direction, and Michelle's headed another.

VOLK FIELD, Wis. - Six units from four states combined their emergency management skills during a field training exercise at Volk Field, April 2-6.

A second Wisconsin Army National Guard high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) battery departed for Fort Bliss, Texas, en route to conducting a fire support mission in Afghanistan.

As 8,000 screaming fans filed into Miller Park Wednesday morning, they could see the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages on the field, smell the fresh green grass and hear the music pulsing through the stadium. But these were no ordinary fans - they were all students and teachers from southeastern Wisconsin attending Weather Day at Miller Park.

The Wisconsin National Guard chose the first day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to formally introduce Falcon, a certified service dog trained to interact with physical and sexual trauma victims who has been assigned to the Wisconsin National Guard's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) team.

VALDEZ, Alaska - A communications team from the Wisconsin National Guard's 128th Air Control Squadron, in conjunction with Valdez Emergency Management and National Guard units from other states, provided communications support in Valdez Saturday. The team set up a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability at the Alaska National Guard Armory in Valdez and provided communications support to the local emergency operations center and other National Guard units.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders joined families and friends of the approximately 160-person 829th Engineer Company in a formal sendoff ceremony March 28 at Fort McCoy, Wis.

Wisconsin Challenge Academy representatives will conduct an informational session Wednesday (March 26) for potential applicants to the academyís next class, which begins July 23. The event will be held at the Best Western PLUS Hotel, 5105 S Howell Ave, from 6-8 p.m.

FORT MCCOY, Wis. - More than 160 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers of the 829th Engineer Company trained here in March in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

The Wisconsin National Guard's Wisconsin Employment Resource Connection (WERC) announced its 500th successful job placement at a March 19 press conference at the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs in Madison, Wis.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 5 John Freeman, the Wisconsin Army National Guard's command chief warrant officer, times - and perceptions - are changing for warrant officers.

Tech. Sgt. Jon LaDue, a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing based in Madison, Wis., was named the U.S. Air Force's Military Broadcast Journalist of the Year in the 56th annual Air Force Media Contest.

A Kenosha, Wis.-based Wisconsin Army National Guard unit travelled to Milwaukee March 1 to test a new method of servicing weapons and electronics for a fellow Guard unit.

Two units from the Wisconsin Army National Guard will deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom this spring.

The U.S. Air Force announced the budget plan for fiscal year 2015 that would eliminate 39 Wisconsin Air National Guard positions beginning in October 2014.

FORT HOOD, Texas - When 65 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard leave for the Middle East in a few short weeks, they will become a key component of U.S. military operations in the region.

National Guardsmen and civilian emergency management agencies teamed up at the historic Richards Street Armory in Milwaukee Feb. 28 to discuss a notional tornado and hazardous materials response scenario.

Gov. Scott Walker and senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders joined families and friends in sending off a small but unique unit for an important mission to Afghanistan.

ABBEVILLE, La. - For 10 straight days, National Guard Airmen from more than a dozen different units across the United States - to include the Madison, Wis.-based 115th Fighter Wing - helped Louisiana residents with their health, dental and optometry needs.

Just because the 2014 Olympics in Sochi are over doesn't mean old man winter has closed his doors to competition.

OAK CREEK, Wis. - Below freezing temperatures. A gentle snowfall. The hum of military generators muffled slightly by a formation of military tents.

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing will conduct training flights at night March 3 and 4. Area residents may see or hear F-16 fighter jets taking off or landing until approximately 9 p.m.

Twenty-six security forces Airman from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing, Madison, Wis., were welcomed home from a deployment to United Arab Emirates March 2 by Gov. Scott Walker, state military leadership and their families.

The Wisconsin National Guard's official publication, @ease, earned a first-place award in the National Guard Bureau Media Contest. That marks the fifth straight year the web-based publication has received top honors from National Guard judges, and the fourth consecutive first-place finish.

Much like the ceremonial bowl of grog, proud and long-standing traditions blended together Feb. 22 for the Wisconsin Army National Guard's inaugural All Saints Celebration.

MADISON, Wis. - Air National Guard medical professionals from the 115th Fighter Wing departed Monday (Feb. 24) to participate in an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission called Cajun Care in Abbeville, La., Feb. 23-March 7.

CAMP WILLIAMS, Wis. - Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, and senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders joined families and friends at a formal sendoff ceremony for 65 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers Saturday (Feb. 22).

CAMP WILLIAMS, Wis. - While nothing can replace a mother or father in uniform deploying halfway across the world for up to a year, the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation is hoping a plush toy dog named "GI Josh" can soften the pains of separation.

It was a windy, snowy day - and night - for some Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers who patrolled state roadways and aided a stranded vehicle as part of the Guard's response to a strong winter storm Feb. 20-21.

KEY WEST, Fla. - Airmen assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing deployed to Key West, Fla., in support of an F-16 Fighting Falcon training mission Feb. 1-14.

Gov. Scott Walker has called the Wisconsin National Guard to state active duty ahead of a strong winter storm that could bring more than 12 inches of snow and freezing rain, and winds up to 50 miles per hour.

The Wisconsin National Guard became aware late Feb. 17 of controversial and distasteful photos and comments related to military funeral honors posted on social media websites.

Six Airmen hailing from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's three bases will compete against their peers from across the country for the chance to be named the 2014 Air National Guard Outstanding Airman of the Year.

Veterans, Wisconsin National Guardsmen and military spouses seeking employment got a boost Feb. 12 if they attended the Wisconsin Employment Resource Connection workshop in Brookfield, Wis.

The MK Passenger Transit Center at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania may have been merely a passing-through point for approximately 300 members of the 101st Airborne Division en route to Afghanistan Feb. 3, but it marks a significant achievement for military engineers, including the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment.

School children from across Wisconsin are likely familiar with the frigid temperatures this winter season - if for no other reason than the above-average amount of school cancellations and temperatures that will make even the tiniest of nostrils freeze together.

Two Airmen in the Wisconsin Air National Guard have earned top honors in the National Guard Bureau Media Contest.

Tech. Sgt. Jon LaDue of the Madison, Wis.-based 115th Fighter Wing, took first place in the Television News Report category for a broadcast story he produced during a 2013 deployment about a joint health program between the United States and Uganda.

HOHENFELS, Germany - The 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, based out of Madison, Wis., left for Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 16 to provide public affairs support during a training exercise for Soldiers preparing for a nine-month deployment to Kosovo.

The Plymouth, Wis.- based Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery of the Wisconsin Army National Guard - also known as the Bravo Barracudas - received the 2013 Hamilton Alexander Award during a Wednesday night ceremony at the National Guard Professional Education Center in North Little Rock, Ark.

The Alexander Hamilton Award recognizes the year's outstanding National Guard field artillery battery for superb mission accomplishment and overall unit excellence.

More than 200 veterans - including more than a dozen Wisconsin Employment Resource Connection (WERC) participants - and approximately 70 employers were brought together Jan. 16 at the Goodwill James O. Wright Center on Milwaukee's northwest side for a recent "Hiring Our Heroes" job fair.

MILWAUKEE - If the Wisconsin Army National Guard was a major-league baseball team, it would be trying to bolster its roster by calling up hot prospects from its farm system.

With six family members currently enlisted - a father and five adult children - Shanle might become a familiar name in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

MADISON, Wis. - Soldiers are often recognized for the military awards they receive, time in service or if they were injured during combat, but on Saturday Jan 18, five Wisconsin Army National Guard members were honored for their service in civilian life.

CAMP DOUGLAS, Wis. - 'Always Ready, Always There,' isn't just a catchphrase for the National Guard. It is the result of maintaining the readiness of an organization that can be called upon at a moment's notice to respond to an emergency here in Wisconsin or deploy to far-flung locales around the world.

Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, has been named chairman of the National Governors Association Homeland Security Advisory Council (GHSAC).

"It's a privilege to serve as Gov. Walker's Homeland Security Advisor, which complements my responsibilities commanding the Wisconsin National Guard and leading Wisconsin Emergency Management," Dunbar said. "The GHSAC is a diverse group of professionals who represent the nation's governors in the Homeland Security enterprise. I am honored to serve as the chair and to work these difficult issues alongside my colleagues in collaboration with federal and local agencies and the private sector."

A 15-Soldier engineer unit from the Wisconsin Army National Guard will lay the groundwork for troops on the last leg of their journeys to Afghanistan and other locations around the world.

The team from the Chippewa Falls, Wis.-based 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment left for Romania this week to begin site work for a new forward operating site from which planes carrying troops bound for Afghanistan will make their final stop before arriving at their destination.

MADISON, Wis. - Listen to the radio, watch a TV show or simply have a conversation with friends. Odds are the topic of weight loss will come up when New Year's resolutions are discussed.

VOLK FIELD, Wis. - More than 90 Airmen were honored as Hometown Heroes in a Jan. 4 ceremony at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) in front of their families, peers, senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders and local officials.

The sport of fishing is rife with stories of monster walleye that got away, muskies that snapped lures and lines, and perhaps the occasional exaggeration or falsehood. But one recent Wisconsin fishing tale had truth to it, though it too was unbelievable.