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History
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 National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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