1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division
The Rosemount-based 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division consists of eight major subordinate commands. More than 5,200 Soldiers make up the brigade's combined arms, armor, cavalry, infantry, artillery, engineer and brigade support battalions, constituting more than half of the Minnesota Army National Guard's total force structure.
There are eight major support commands that now make up the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team: Headquarters and Headquarters Company in Bloomington; 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion in Bloomington; 134th Brigade Support Battalion at Camp Ripley; 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment in Brainerd; 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry in Duluth; 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery in New Ulm; 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry in Moorhead and 1st Battalion, 145th Armor Regiment of the Ohio Army National Guard. The Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry is a Minnesota Army National Guard Battalion which administratively falls under the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team but is in an aligned for training relationship with the Iowa Army National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division.
In 2022, Soldiers from the brigade will support the modernization of 1/34 ABCT platforms and systems and the fielding of new equipment in preparation for upcoming exercises and mobilizations. The brigade will also prioritize the reintegration of Task Force 1-194.
Following a complex training year that included culminating training events and preparation for a brigade-wide deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield (OSS), leaders and Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, rolled into 2021 with demonstrated professionalism and continued adaptability.
A late 2020 shift in operational and force structure needs in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations meant a reduction in the number of 1/34 ABCT Soldiers activated for OSS in March 2021.
Task Force 1-194, led by the Brainerd-based 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment, and commanded by Lt. Col. Jacob Helgestad, convened and mobilized 1,100 Minnesota Soldiers for the ten-month deployment, which included a stop at Fort Bliss, Texas, for additional training prior to heading overseas. The task force — made up of four companies from 1-194 AR (CAB), two companies from the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, and two companies from the 134th Brigade Support Battalion — is flexible in its capabilities and adept at providing armor and mechanized infantry ground combat power, as well as logistical and health care sustainment support.
In August 2021, Task Force 1-194, serving as the CENTCOM Regional Response Force based out of Camp Buehring, Kuwait, helped secure Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul during the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies, following the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The task force — trained and postured for rapid deployment within the CENTCOM area to support strategic and operational requirements — worked alongside units from the 82nd Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division, Marine Special Purpose Air Ground Task Force, and Marine Expeditionary Unit, to support Operation Allies Refuge by securing vital sectors of Hamid Karzai International Airport and providing humanitarian assistance to U.S. citizens, special immigrant visa holders, and their families.
Back in Minnesota, 1/34 ABCT Soldiers had a busy year supporting the state’s COVID-19 response efforts, including manning community-based testing sites (CBTS), assisting with vaccination efforts, and aiding at long-term care facilities. The New Ulm-based 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, Stillwater-based 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion, Duluth-based 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry and Camp Ripley-based 134th Brigade Support Battalion supported pandemic response efforts across the state.
In January 2021, following a short-notice request for support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration, 130 Soldiers from the 1-94 CAV packed, trained and flew to Washington, D.C. in a matter of days.
In April 2021, the brigade activated Soldiers in support of Operation Safety Net. The 1-125 FA provided 24/7 property protection in over 60 Minneapolis locations. The 1-94 CAV, along with a few dozen Soldiers from 1-194 AR (CAB) and the Moorhead-based 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, supported operations with Brooklyn Park Police Department, following the police shooting of Daunte Wright. More than 200 Soldiers from the 134 BSB provided sustainment support, including supply, maintenance and security for Task Force Minneapolis, which operated out of the DoubleTree hotel complex in Bloomington.
In late April 2021, 700 Soldiers of the Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment returned home from their deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa (HOA), which began in the summer of 2020. The battalion served as part of a task force to improve security posture at U.S. installations and forward operating bases in the U.S. Africa Command region, while maintaining a rapidly deployable force prepared to respond to crisis. The group, which saw three Soldiers obtain their U.S. citizenship during the deployment, was successful in coordinating the installation and implementation of a variety of Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems and multiple Base Expeditionary Targeting and Surveillance Systems-Combined across the HOA region.
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company
- 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion
- 134th Brigade Support Battalion
- 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment
- 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry
- 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery
- 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment
- 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment