Those serving in the Minnesota National Guard are embarking on one of the state’s largest deployments overseas as tensions rise in the Middle East. While the Minnesota Army National Guard has deployed overseas multiple times, things have changed a bit since the Hamas terrorist attack that sparked a war in Gaza. The missions in play center around Kuwait; however, it’s going to affect the entire region due to related and unrelated activities.
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The Minnesota National Guard Is Helping Bolster Kuwait’s Regional Security
For some, the Minnesota National Guard deployment will be their first. However, many within the 34th Infantry Division have already gone overseas.
The National Guard deploys all over the world and this opportunity early in 2024 is no different. Yet, with tensions rising in the region, many are looking at the ten-month deployment and security mission a bit differently.
Not only are those leaving Minnesota doing so during a hostile time, but it’s one of the largest deployments in years. 550 troops are being sent to the Middle East from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
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Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve
Those in the 34th Infantry Division, known as the Red Bulls, are undergoing a 10-month mission in the Middle East under two missions.
Operation Spartan Shield is enhancing regional security in Kuwait while Operation Inherent Resolve is combating activity by ISIS.
Though the Minnesota National Guard is helping Kuwait with its regional security, the missions will benefit the area in general. An important factor as tensions rise.
Despite the Gaza Strip being the focal point of conflict in the Middle East these days, several other nearby areas are also experiencing ranging levels of hostility.
There have been attacks in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, and the Red Sea. This all comes as the National Guard in Minnesota is deploying to its mission in Kuwait.
As the 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls are going to increase security in the region and help Kuwait become more independent for its military needs, the stakes are remarkably high.
Minnesota National Guard Deployment Highlights a Shift Back To Middle Eastern Hostility
Minnesota National Guard units have not been the only military outfits from America to deploying to Kuwait or the Middle East in general. However, unrelenting tension is amplifying the situation.
The United States has had diplomatic ties with Kuwait since 1961. This came after the country’s independence from the United Kingdom and remains strong to this day.
Kuwait-U.S. relations are based on shared values and democratic principles after America liberated the nation following Iraq’s invasion in 1990.
The US supports Kuwait’s sovereignty and security, as noted by Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve, along with diplomacy through the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Kuwait assisted American operations in Iraq starting in 2003. They were also involved in facilitating the withdrawal of troops in 2011. The country also helps the U.S. and others with counterterrorism and both nations are trading partners.
While the intensity of the Minnesota National Guard could increase, there is hope that the conflict doesn’t spread further. Regardless, it’s another reminder of the sacrifice and selflessness our nation’s military presents for all of our freedoms.