1-151 Field Artillery Battalion deployed to Minneapolis

Danae Milbrandt

On May 28, Governor Tim Walz gave orders for the 1-151 Field Artillery Battalion Headquartered here in Montevideo to deploy to the Twin Cities, with all available battalion personnel deployed by 12 p.m. on May 29. Walz gave Executive Order 20-64, which states, “Activating the Minnesota National Guard, and declaring a Peacetime Emergency to Provide Safety and Protection to the People of Minneaplis, St. Paul, and Surrounding Communities.”

The order was signed on May 28 in response to the recent protests that have been taking place in the Twin Cities and nearby communities.

According to Matthew J. Scholz, a Captain serving with the 1-151 Field Artillery Battalion, its members were deployed immediately.

“The 1-151 FA HQ was identified as Task Force Command and Control Element for the initial response,” stated Scholz. “The 1-151 FA had a high of over 800 soldiers under its command for the response mission.”

According to Scholz, 325 members of the 1-151 FA participated in the deployment out of its 380 qualified drilling members.

“The total assigned is higher if you include trainees, but we do not have full control of new soldiers until they graduate initial training and they are unavailable for State Active Duty,” said Scholz. “In addition, personnel who were deemed medically or administratively unavailable were not activated.”

The battalion was stationed in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Metropolitan area, and its members were tasked with various missions, including: police precinct security; roving patrols; critical infrastructure protection of the Capitol Complex, Minneapolis Convention Center, Hennepin County Medical Center, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Governor’s Mansion; emergency response personnel for both the fire department and EMS; and riot control support as State Patrol Mobile Field Force and Mobile Strike Force Teams.

The Montevideo community welcomed its soldiers back with a short parade on Sunday, June 7 when the battalion began demobilizing, with full demobilization on Wednesday, June 10, when the rest of the troops were welcomed back near Cenex on Highway 7.

The parade was organized by the local Legion Riders, with assistance from the Montevideo Fire Department as well as Jeff Eickhoff of the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office. Several people lined Highway 7 with flags and signs to show respect. Approximately 20 Legion Riders participated in the convoy, and fire departments from Granite Falls, Danube, Olivia and Renville were also present to show their support.

Scholz added, “The 1-151 FA would like to express our sincere gratitude to our local comunities, as well as the Minnesota Community at large. The support that we have received has been immense, and it has been an honor to be able to give back in such a direct way.”