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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley Environmental Efforts

Camp Ripley has been a world-class military training center since 1931 For decades, various branches of the military and state agencies have trained at the center and benefited from its resources They aren't the only ones benefiting though

Camp Ripley has partnered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct county biological surveys and assist with the tracking of wildlife on its sprawling 53,000 acres

"The great thing about the National Guard camp"? particularly the way they are concerned about wildlife and the environment there is that it does provide this wonderful sanctuary,"?said Dave Garshelis, Black Bear Project Leader, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

In the late 1960's, the wolf population in Minnesota was limited to the northeast portion of the state Currently Minnesota's gray wolf population is listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act The DNR states feels that a decision to remove the wolves from that list is anticipated in the next year Part of their population growth is due to the efforts of Camp Ripley and DNR staff

"Technology has changed significantly in the way we track wolves That's really something that was pioneered right on Camp Ripley,"? Dan Stark, Wolf Management Specialist, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The tracking has shown that the wolves at Camp Ripley are reproducing and expanding into other areas such as Wisconsin and Northern Michigan In fact, one of the first wolves to be collared in Michigan had been caught as a pup five years earlier by Mike Nelson, a Sr Research Scientist for the US Geological Survey and is raising pups of her own

The goal of such conservation and protection initiatives at Camp Ripley is not only to benefit the environment, but also the people who train there

"The Minnesota Guard and the environment are not two ends of the spectrum,"? Col Richard Weaver, Camp Ripley Post Commander "We want it to be a place where Soldiers can train here forever and keeping the environment"?woods, the foliage, the animals, everything here is in our best interest"?

Four local college students were sent by the National Guard DOCS program to capture the partnership between Camp Ripley and the Minnesota DNR in a documentary The filmmakers are competing with three other teams to get this National Guard Green Documentary to be premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival You can view the film below, but to vote please visit the National Guard DOCS website

National Guard DOCS website
The Ripley Reporter E-zine: The Martin J. Skoglund Classroom
Camp Ripley Environmental Awards

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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

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