Tricounty News

Minnesota National Guard 849th Mobility Augmentation Company deploys

Tuesday, July 16, morning, the 849th MAC reserves left Willmar for deployment. Ninety-five soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard are leaving Minnesota for training, then for a one-year deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. These soldiers will be assigned to the 878th Engineer Battalion, which is headquartered in Augusta, Ga.

Operation Enduring Freedom is the name of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. These soldiers will conduct route clearance missions to ensure mobility of coalition forces. In addition to this primary mission, they will also conduct limited infantry operations.

The soldiers represent communities throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin:

Albert Lea, Atwater, Burnsville, Clearwater, Coon Rapids, Duluth, Eden Prairie, Eden Valley, Fargo, Farmington, Grove City, Isanti, Kenyon, Lakeville, Litchfield, 
Mankato, Monticello, New Richmond, Wis., Osseo, Owatonna, Proctor, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, 
St. Paul Park, Sauk Rapids, 
Shakopee, White Bear Township, and Woodbury.

The following are rank and name of those deployed:

CPT Jukkala, Matthew David

1LT Garrison, Shaun Deane

1SG Mannz, Michael Todd

SFC Whitcomb, James Dale

SGT Pautzke, Logan Dale

SSG Moua, Kao Michael

SGT Stevens, Spencer Charles

SGT McCann, Ryan Eugene

SPC Rehmann, Justin James

SPC Revier, Jacob Daniel

SPC Lee, Thai

PV2 Maurer, Tyler James

SPC Kiley, Jason Michael

1LT Loher, Gerald August III

1LT Schiller, Andrew Lee

SFC Welle, Nicholas Jerry

SPC Kirby, Gary John

PV1 Rauch, Seth Jacob

PFC Landsrud, Garrett Bryn

PFC Brown, Nicholas Russell

SSG Kieselhorst, Joshua David

SSG Peet, Roger Edward

SGT Westling, Shawn Roy

SGT Thorpe, William Scott

SGT Johnson, Ryan Anthony

SGT Peterson, Travis Scott

PV2 Mathies, Robert Chad

PV2 Hanken, Cody Keith

PFC Hansen, Michael George II

SPC Johnson, Jeremiah Lee

SPC Kuphal, Ehren James

SPC Vanhorn, Corey James

SGT Sheets, Robbie Nicholas

SGT Fontaine, Tony James

SGT Minette, Adam Richard

SGT Reiman, Seth Daniel

SGT Illies, Casey John

SGT Kettner, Jesse Daniel

SPC Illies, Bret James

SGT Moon, Matthew George

SPC Beck, Karl August Jr.

PV2 Sorenson, Jordan Everett

SPC Caldow, Daniel Lee

SPC Holdvogt, Joseph Andrew

PV2 Folkerds, Alexander John

PFC Kim, Thien Phung

SPC Beltz, Russel Cash

SPC Sullinger, Eric Royce

SPC Hendrikson, Nikolas Kyle

SPC Hildebrandt, Timothy Ryan

SPC Stello, Justin Howard

SPC Kahl, Michael Gustave

SPC Hanson, Tyrel Martin

SPC Hillesheim, Matthew Robert

SPC Wiest, Kyle William

SPC Bachler, Anthony Daniel

PFC Gloege, Javan Nathan

SPC Valiant, Aaron Mitchell

PFC Heitkamp, Dustin Jerome

SPC Otto, Jeffrey Michael

SPC Schueler, Jordan Ronald

SPC Eisenschenk, Zachary Dean

1LT Hauser, Lance William

SFC Larson, Scott James

SPC Julich, Alexander Douglas

SPC Vang, Peter Kong Meng

SPC Jerve, Kendrick Alan

PFC Thell, Kurt Robert

SSG Braatz, James Andrew

SGT Badheartbull, Kevin

SGT Straumann, Tylor Louis

SGT Rebelskey, Edward Franklin

SPC Pundsack, Kyle James

SPC Loitz, Ryan Matthew

PV2 Paolillo, Austin Joseph

SPC Lingo, Matthew Sedley

SPC Dellapaolera, Christopher W

SPC Puschinsky, Tyler Dean

SPC Buchman, Nicholas Richard

SPC Nordmann, Jason Daniel

PV2 Vannier, Darrell Joseph

SPC Trudeau, Eric James

PV2 Ingenthron, Tucker Richard W

PFC Virnala, Dane Steven

PV2 Ruegemer, Patrick Philip

SSG Hammerschmidt, Zachary Paul

SGT Hattesohl, Justin Lee

SGT George, Justin Francis

CPL Kumpula, Calen Paul

SGT Long, Nathan Ray

PFC Ruberg, Kiel Robert

SPC Mickolichek, Colby John

SPC Utz, Donald Bernard, Jr.

SPC Wheeler, Bryan William

SPC Judes, Brent Roy

SGT Ramirez, Adam Joseph

SFC Deadrick, James Kenneth

The average age of the deploying soldier is 33. The youngest soldier is 19, and the oldest is 47. All deploying soldiers are male.

This is the first deployment for 82 percent (78) of the 95 soldiers. Eighteen percent (17) have previously deployed. This is the second, third, and fourth deployment for those soldiers. Fifty-seven percent (54) of the soldiers have at least one dependant.

Geography of Afghanistan

A landlocked and mountainous country, with plains in the north and southwest, Afghanistan’s highest point is Nowshak, at 24,557 feet above sea level. The climate varies by region and tends to change quite rapidly. Large parts of the country are dry, and fresh water supplies are limited. At 249,984 square miles, Afghanistan is almost three times the size of Minnesota. It shares borders with Pakistan in the east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far east.