NEWS | Aug. 24, 2021

Minnesota National Guard supports Afghanistan evacuation

By Capt. Charles Anderson and Capt. Andrea Drost, Minnesota National Guard

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Minnesota National Guard is helping secure Hamid Karzai International Airport during the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies.

The Minnesota Guard's Task Force 1-194 mobilized in March to serve as the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Regional Response Force based in Camp Buehring, Kuwait. So the unit was positioned to respond to the Noncombatant Evacuation Operation announced by the Department of State and supported by the Department of Defense.

The Regional Response Force, part of Task Force Spartan under Operation Spartan Shield, is postured for rapid deployment within the CENTCOM area to support strategic and operational requirements.

Alongside units from the 82nd Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division, Marine Special Purpose Air Ground Task Force, and Marine Expeditionary Unit, Task Force 1-194 was trained and ready when called for rapid deployment in support of Operation Allies Refuge in Kabul. 

The task force is securing vital sectors of Hamid Karzai International Airport. In addition, Task Force 1-194 Soldiers are providing humanitarian assistance to U.S. citizens, special immigrant visa holders, and their families.

"The Soldiers of Task Force 1-194 were called upon to execute a challenging mission, and they have done so with professionalism," said Army Lt. Col. Jake Helgestad, Task Force 1-194 commander. "They have shown strength, compassion, and resolve despite danger and difficulty."

This initiative follows through on America's commitment to Afghan citizens who have helped the United States.