| Annual Training brings new challenges to 1st BCT
The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th BCT), currently scheduled to begin a one year deployment in the summer of 2011, is undergoing intense Annual Training this month at Camp Ripley, Minnesota
Battalions of the 1/34th BCT began rotating through Camp Ripley July 31 and will continue until September 2
Every year Annual Training encompasses everything from common soldier tasks, such as firing your assigned weapon, to more specialized tasks, such as combat medic training
"The soldiers of the BCT were exposed to all the tasks necessary for success in a counter-insurgency environment," said Col Eric Kerska, commander of the 1/34th BCT "They grew as small teams and now know exactly what to work on over the coming year"
This year however, brought something more The brigade developed a training plan to include participating in the Army National Guard Exportable Combat Training Capability, or XCTC
As part of the ever-changing overseas contingency operations, XCTC brings the most up-to-date, theater-specific training to mobilizing Army National Guard units
XCTC provides total immersion training Soldiers are surrounded by the look, smell, sound, and feel of their projected combat tour As part of this immersion, Soldiers interact with role-players consisting of Americans and foreign nationals to make the exercise as real as possible
"I could not be happier with the training provided by XCTC," said Kerska " XCTC is absolutely the finest pre-mob training ever offered to this brigade"
With the help of this new tool, the 1/34th BCT will be able to not just meet, but exceed, prior training expectations and standards put in place by the Army
By Maj Paul Rickert, 1/34 BCT Public Affairs Officer
10 Aug, 2010
1st Brigade Combat Team links
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.