Minnesota National Guard Members Mobilize in Support of United States SouthernCommand’s Counter Drug Mission

MEDIA ADVISORY: For Immediate Release
July 5, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Tomorrow, Detachment 5, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 245th Aviation Regiment will hold a departure ceremony before leaving on a nine-month deployment to Bogota, Columbia.

“This enduring mission is an ongoing cooperative effort between the United States, Colombia, and other South American countries,” said Chief Warrant Officer Five Brad Husnik, Detachment Commander. “This high-visibility mission provides multiple opportunities for the members of the detachment to showcase the skills and experience of the Minnesota National Guard in master-level, expeditionary travel during extreme environments, including high altitudes.”

The Minnesota National Guard Fixed-Wing Flight Detachment’s six-member team will support the Unites States Sothern Command (SOUTHCOM) Combat Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) Counter Drug/Counter Narcotics Mission. The team will operate out of Bogota, Columbia, where they will conduct flight operations, transporting passengers and cargo within the SOUTHCOM area.

One requirement of the team is that one member speaks and writes fluently in Spanish. Army Staff Sgt. Abigail Rivera will fulfill this requirement as the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer for the team. Rivera was born in Peru and lived there until she was 12, when she came to the United States. She joined the National Guard in 2012 and was a 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade member. Rivera was hand-selected for the position because of her fluency in Spanish and has spent the past six months learning flight operations and international travel due to her role with the detachment being different than what she usually does in the Minnesota National Guard.

Editor’s Note: Media members are invited to attend the event on July 6 at 1:30 p.m., located at the Army Aviation Support Facility #1, 206 Airport Road, Room 260, Saint Paul, Minn. Media can RSVP to Maj. Jackie Stenger at 651-435-0857 or jackie.l.stenger.mil@army.mil.

About the Minnesota National Guard –
Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has more than 13,000 Soldiers and Airmen who serve in 58 communities across the state. The Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard are ‘Always Ready’ to fight the nation’s wars, protect the country, respond to state emergencies, and contribute to local communities. For more information about the Minnesota National Guard, visit https://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil.