Joint Force Headquarters
Located in Saint Paul, the Minnesota National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters is a joint Army and Air unit tasked to oversee operations for all state National Guard forces. Joint Force Headquarters coordinates military support at the request of the Governor in the event of a disaster or state emergency.
In 2023, JFHQ’s most significant objective is to host the 50th U.S./Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange, known as NOREX. Minnesota’s partnership with Norway is the U.S. Department of Defense’s longest-running troop exchange. In 2023, Norway and Minnesota will strengthen their relationship, also officially becoming State Partnership Program partners. Each year, about 100 Airmen and Soldiers from Minnesota and a similar number of Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers and youth participate in the exchange. JFHQ will also be planning the 2023 Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States which will take place in Rochester in August.
JFHQ continues to focus on the effects of modernization, such as the new Army Combat Fitness Test and the new weapons qualification standards, as well as ensuring all Minnesota Guard units update their on-hand equipment with the most up-to-date equipment available for training.
In June 2022, the U.S. Army published an update to its 2020 directive regarding Parenthood, Pregnancy, and Postpartum. The Minnesota National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters, known as JFHQ, has strived to disseminate and implement the directive throughout the state’s units. The original policy outlined specific requirements for commanders and units to provide dedicated lactation rooms in all armories and training facilities. The 2022 federal policy specifies this requirement, with Minnesota adding the availability of field nursing kits that nursing service members can check out during field training exercises. These field nursing kits contain a portable refrigerator, power inverter, extension cable, cleaning wipes, sealable bags, and markers in a standard-issued assault pack.
JFHQ continues to foster the Minnesota National Guard’s relationship with Croatia, the state’s partner of more than 26 years through the DoD’s State Partnership Program. The unit’s information technology section also conducts an annual cyber security exchange with Croatian partners. The program continues to grow and become more robust with 31 military advise and assist exchanges that have taken place, with topics including disaster relief, cyber security, aviation mechanics, and more.
JFHQ planned the Best Warrior Competitions for the state and region this year. The regional event, hosted at Camp Ripley in May, included the best noncommissioned officers and Soldiers from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The five-day competition tested the participants’ technical and tactical knowledge through 24 events, including weapons qualification, fitness, land navigation, a ruck march, an obstacle course, and more, all designed to be physically and mentally challenging. Sections of JFHQ also planned the Women’s Leadership Forum, which was hosted at General Mills headquarters, teaching more than 500 Airmen, Soldiers, and civilians how challenges in work and life can build perseverance.
- Army Aviation Support Facility, St. Paul
- Army Aviation Support Facility, St. Cloud
- Medical Detachment
- Recruiting and Retention Battalion
- Training Support Unit
- 175th Regiment (Regional Training Institute)