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Minnesota National Guard conducts react to contact drills with Montenegro Armed Forces

Posted: September 14, 2016 10:13 AM
Immediate Response 16 U.S. and Montenegrin Soldiers tested their ability to perform battle drills that included squad attacks, react to contact, break contact, and react to ambush while supporting Immediate Response 16 at the Croatian Armed Forces training area of Slunj, Croatia.

"Training like IR16 gets the younger Soldiers the experience in a little more than just what we do at home by going to a different country, seeing a different culture, meeting different people, establishing relationships that you would never get if you go overseas," said Sgt. George Langstaff, a squad leader assigned to the Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry.

The exercise and simulations are built upon a decisive action-based scenario and are designed to enhance regional stability, strengthen allied and partner nation capacity, and improve interoperability among partner nations.

University of Minnesota, Minnesota National Guard partner for crisis simulation exercise

Posted: September 12, 2016 04:28 PM
Disaster Simulation Exercise CANNON FALLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard partnered with the University of Minnesota and other humanitarian organizations in a collaborative program to train students and prospective humanitarian aid workers during a three-day Humanitarian Crisis Simulation exercise at the Phillippo Scout Reservation in Cannon Falls, Sept. 9-11, 2016.

"A goal is to help students gain an appreciation of humanitarian work by putting them in an environment typical of humanitarian crises," said Dr. Eric James, co-instructor for the course. "We put the students into complex scenarios so they can apply the knowledge and skills learned from the course. They get to experience first-hand the stress of making a decision under pressure while providing aid to refugees in an unfamiliar country."

The Minnesota National Guard has participated in the exercise for the past four years, strengthening interagency relationships with local and international humanitarian organizations.

Minnesota National Guard hosts fun run to bring awareness to suicide prevention efforts

Posted: September 09, 2016 11:12 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota National Guard is hosting a "Power of One" Fun Run, Sunday, September 11, during National Suicide Prevention Week to call attention to suicide prevention efforts in the military and civilian communities.

The run will take place at the Benjamin Franklin Readiness Center in Arden Hills and will help Minnesota Guardsmen meet annual suicide prevention training requirements while building unit cohesion and encouraging connectedness between battle buddies, family members and local community resource providers. The run emphasizes the power that one individual has to save a life and prevent suicide.

"The Minnesota National Guard is committed to preventing suicides in our organization," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General. "We are continually looking for new ways to bring the suicide prevention message to our Service members. Our people are our most precious resource and one loss to suicide is one too many."

Minnesota National Guard's Camp Ripley Training Center damaged by severe weather

Posted: September 09, 2016 11:02 AM
Camp Ripley storm damage FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Camp Ripley received significant storm damage after 10:00 p.m. on September 7, 2016, as storm cells passed through Morrison County. There were no injuries caused by the severe weather, though several buildings used for housing, training and maintenance received major damage. There was also major damage to the nearly completed 10-megawatt solar array that was set to be dedicated next week. The dedication has been postponed to a yet to be determined future date.

"We were extremely fortunate, all our people are safe," said Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley Garrison Commander. "We can repair buildings and replace damaged equipment, but our people are irreplaceable."

Damage assessments continue today, but most damage consist of collapsed roofs, fallen trees, debris and damaged vehicles throughout garrison areas of Camp Ripley.

Remembering the life and service of a great Minnesotan

Posted: September 02, 2016 11:57 AM
Vessey Funeral ST. PAUL, Minn. - With services over two days at Minnesota's historic Fort Snelling and Camp Ripley, family, friends and the military community sought to honor and celebrate a life well-lived by General John W. Vessey, Jr., who enlisted as a private in the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in 1939 and ended his 46-year military career as the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"They just don't make them like General Vessey anymore," said Gen. Daniel Allyn, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. "And that is why, rather than refer to him as John or Jack, the man we hold in reverence and honor today will forever be known to all of us in uniform as General."

Vessey passed away August 18, 2016, in North Oaks, Minnesota, just over a year after his wife, Avis, of 69 years. In 94 years, Gen. John W. Vessey Jr. lived a large and full life, leaving a lasting impression on not only his immediate family and friends, but on a local, national and global scale during his military career and beyond.

Funeral arrangements announced for Gen. John W. Vessey Jr.

Posted: August 29, 2016 04:56 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Funeral arrangements have been set for Gen. John William Vessey Jr. who passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94. Vessey, a Minnesota native, enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard as a private in 1939 and served as the tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from June 18, 1982 to September 30, 1985.

"General John W. Vessey is a national treasure with a military legacy unmatched in the history of the Minnesota National Guard or the U.S. Army. His passing is nationally significant and yet very personal to many in the Minnesota National Guard, including me," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General. "General Vessey has been a mentor, and a friend; though missed by many, he will never be forgotten."

A religious service will take place Wednesday, August 31, at 1:00 p.m. at the Fort Snelling Chapel where he married his wife, Avis, in 1945. This service is open to the public and the media.

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