/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
IEDS lane provides realistic training

CAMP ADDER, Iraq - Since becoming available for use last October, the improvised explosive device training lane has allowed several platoons of Soldiers here to get a realistic, firsthand look at the wide array of dangers they commonly face when venturing "outside the wire"

Estimates have tied more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq and 178 in Afghanistan to IEDs since October 2001, making them one of "the most lethal threats" faced by US and Coalition Forces, said Capt Rob Metcalfe, a Breezy Point, Minn, native and assistant S-3 for the 1st Brigade Troops Battalion, 34th Infantry Division

"The idea of the IEDS lane was to allow sets of Soldiers the opportunity to practice their current [tactics, techniques and procedures] and train their senior leadership," said Metcalfe, who is one of the key coordinators of the lane

The IEDS lane is available for any unit that wants to use it; they simply have to make a reservation in advance, allowing for ample time to secure an open date and set up the lane itself One of the main benefits of conducting training on the four-mile circular course, Metcalfe says, is the broad spectrum of scenarios it allows Service members to recreate and subsequently learn from

"The entire lane is currently designed to recreate a wide array of threats," said Metcalfe "Units can practice vehicle recovery, medical evacuations or how to set up a landing zone Basically, leaders can pretty much refine their standard operating procedures, based on what they learn out there"

Various pyrotechnics are allowed for use on the lane, which provide realistic recreations of IED detonations, said Chief Petty Officer Mike Green, a Navy electronic warfare officer on loan to the 1-34th BTB

Platoon-sized convoys typically go through the lane during nighttime hours This makes the IEDs harder to spot and forces the troops to employ a variety of methods to find them, but these are the conditions troops commonly face while on missions, Green said

"This training device is also a good opportunity for junior leaders to get in there and take on a leadership position," said Green "Overall, we've had pretty good feedback on the lane itself when the units conduct their [after-action review] We tell them in the beginning, 'Don't get wrapped up in the scenarios, just remember your training'"

During the last week of December, a BTB company conducted a twilight convoy exercise on the lane where they were required to find no less than four well-hidden IEDs while safely escorting a "supply truck" to the end of its four-mile route A scout vehicle led the way, scoping out the road ahead of the rest of the convoy

Nearly three-quarters of the way through, a pair of loud pops - accompanied by quick flashes - went off, signifying the convoy had been hit The second vehicle was informed via radio of an "injury" sustained by one of its passengers during the blast, after which the Soldier was moved to a stretcher and treated with combat lifesaving techniques

"It was great training, and my guys performed really well, considering the conditions," said 1st Lt Jon Anderson, 2-136th Engineer Company, who supervised the training "This is a great way to train on real-world threats in a realistic environment"

The lane was created because Multi-National Corps Iraq directed that all major forward operating bases in the Middle East were to have one, but Green says the training aide can - and should - be used elsewhere
"Setting up IED practice lanes is a good concept to implement not only here, but back home as well," said Green

By Spc Dustin Perry, 1/34th BCT Public Affairs

NorthStar GUARD Online: 12/29/06
IED training photo gallery

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Article archive