Minnesota Power Employee Serves in Croatia

Soldiers of the Minnesota Army National Guard 851st Vertical Engineer Company, Airmen from the Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing and 133rd Airlift Wing Civil Engineering Squadrons along with the Croatian Army Engineering Horizontal Construction Company work together for repairs and to rebuild parts of a primary school in Karlovac, Croatia on June 9, 2016.  The project is a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project made possible by the US European Command in partnership with the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia.

Soldiers of the Minnesota Army National Guard 851st Vertical Engineer Company, Airmen from the Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Wing and 133rd Airlift Wing Civil Engineering Squadrons along with the Croatian Army Engineering Horizontal Construction Company work together for repairs and to rebuild parts of a primary school in Karlovac, Croatia on June 9, 2016. The project is a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project made possible by the U.S. European Command in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia.

Airman First Class Derick Kvam of the 148th Civil Engineer Squadron of out Duluth, Minn. secures waterlines for kitchen appliances during a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project in Karlovac, Croatia on June 13, 2016.   Kvam along with other members of the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing and 133rd Airlift Wing Civil Engineering Squadrons, the Minnesota Army National Guard’s 851st Vertical Engineer Company and the Croatian Army Engineering Horizontal Construction Company are working side-by-side to repair and renovate parts of a primary school and should be done in less than a month.

Airman First Class Derick Kvam of the 148th Civil Engineer Squadron of out Duluth, Minn. secures waterlines for kitchen appliances during a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project in Karlovac, Croatia on June 13, 2016. Kvam along with other members of the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing and 133rd Airlift Wing Civil Engineering Squadrons, the Minnesota Army National Guard’s 851st Vertical Engineer Company and the Croatian Army Engineering Horizontal Construction Company are working side-by-side to repair and renovate parts of a primary school and should be done in less than a month.

Karlovac, Croatia -- Master Sgt. Bryan Maslowski, a project manager with Minnesota Power and a water fuels maintenance/plumber with  the Duluth-based 148th Fighter Wing Civil Engineering Squadron is spending his annual training this year in Croatia.

The 10-year employee of Minnesota Power has spent four deployments assisting with projects as a water fuels maintenance/plumber. 

"Going overseas and conducting the job is fairly easy," said Maslowski, a native of Poplar, Wisconsin.  "The concepts are all the same."

The University of Wisconsin-Superior alumni has always known he wanted to serve in the National Guard and having a supportive employer is a key component in his successful military career.

"I have always known I would be in the military in some form or another," said Maslowski. "My employer has been so supportive and I never had to choose. The Guard and the mission they need me to do can always come first."

Maslowski and other Airmen from the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th and 133rd Civil Engineering Squadrons, along with Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's 851st Vertical Engineer Company and the Croatian Army Engineering Horizontal Construction Company are working side-by-side to repair and to rebuild parts of a primary school in Karlovac, Croatia. 

The project is a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project made possible by the U.S. European Command in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia.  The project is expected to be complete in less than a month.

The six-foot-two Guardsman is built like a defensive lineman, but that just helps him put a little extra elbow grease into everything he does. 

"I try to lead the way with everything that I do, I don't care what my rank is," said Maslowski.  "They know I am not going to ask them to do anything that I wouldn't do myself."

Working hard is a common work ethic all the engineers, regardless of branch, have in common.

"Maslowski follows the core values and has a great balance about getting the job done and playing later," said Chief Master Sgt. Kyle Johnson, chief enlisted manager for 148th Civil Engineering Squadron.  "He is an honest Airman and won't beat around the bush."

Minnesota Power received state recognition in 2016 as the first Duluth-based company and 50th Minnesota employer to earn Yellow Ribbon status for its support for veterans, active-duty service members and their families.