| Employers observe Guard training firsthand during Bosslift
A Bosslift conducted by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve office was held at Camp Ripley Training Center April 21st. Over 20 employers met at the Camp Ripley Town Hall to learn more about Camp Ripley and what a day in the life of a Soldier or Airman is like.
According to the ESGR website, a Bosslift transports employers and supervisors to military training sites where they observe National Guard and Reserve members on duty as part of the Total Force. This provides the employer a better understanding of what their Reservists do when they are away from their civilian occupation for duty with their military units. Employers see firsthand the type and quality of military training and leadership activities National Guard and Reserve members receive.
The day started with a brief at the Town Hall from Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley Post Commander. He explained that Camp Ripley provides the best training for Soldiers preparing for deployment, serves State agencies, such as the State Patrol, currently training on camp and maintains good community relations. St. Sauver also explained the importance of support from the community for Soldiers and Airmen returning home from deployments.
The group also toured Camp Ripley and had the opportunity to see many of the facilities, simulators and equipment Camp Ripley has to offer. Some of the stops included: an environmental brief in the Marty J. Skoglund Environmental Classroom, a tour of the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site, a presentation on the Close Combat Tactical Trainer and a tour of the Regional Training Site & Maintenance facility.
“It’s valuable for employers to be able to see and experience what their employees go through,” said Master Sgt. Reed, Chief Instructor, RTS-M. “If employers can experience what Soldiers go through, they are more supportive of them. ESGR supports our Soldiers and Airmen and educates employees on the value of skills they receive through military training such as the leadership and discipline.”
Drew Rassmussen of Rasmussen Heating said this was his first experience on a Bosslift.
“The whole experience has been great,” said Rassmussen. “I’m learning a lot about what Camp Ripley has to offer and what ESGR does for communities and Service members. For a person like me that has never been in the military, it’s good to understand what Service members do and coming here on this tour is a great way to learn about what they do.
Midway through the Bosslift, five area employers signed a statement of support. Employers who received this statement of support included: Kathryn Stotka, Director of Sales, Cragun’s Resort; Patience Svor, Manager of Prime Lending, Dewayne Collins, owner of Blue Lakes Disposal; Jeff Hines and Wyatt Cekella both Agents for Aspire Realty; and Shawn Peterschick, owner of Wiczek’s Floor and More Carpets.
“This event provided area employers a glimpse of what Soldiers and Airmen do and the resources that Camp Ripley offers,” said Mike Bellos, ESGR State Training Director and Volunteer. “The support that the Recruiting Force and Joint Visitor’s Bureau offered made this successful event possible.”
Story and photos by Officer Candidate Trista LaFontaine
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
21 April, 2011
Minnesota DNR and National Guard combat wildfires
Posted: 2015-05-29 08:48 AM
With a Department of Natural Resources Air Attack operator in a helicopter pointing out the targets, two Minnesota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters assaulted a series of controlled grass fires this month at Camp Ripley.
The DNR and the National Guard have been training together with live fires since 2001, but for the first time a DNR Enforcement helicopter is being used to direct the Black Hawks to their targets. The DNR helicopter is ideal for serving as an aerial supervision platform, guiding the Black Hawks.
"This cooperative effort is an excellent example of a partnership designed to improve firefighting efficiencies, as well as contain air support costs," said Capt. Tom Buker, DNR Enforcement Division chief pilot.
Camp Ripley sets the stage for major training exercise
Posted: 2015-05-28 12:33 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15, 2015 through Aug. 18.
"The exercises organized by First Army are to help prepare units for rotations at major training centers to ensure mission readiness," said Capt. Brett Farniok, projects officer at Camp Ripley.
The eXportable Combat Training Capabilities, or XCTC, program provides soldiers with an experience similar to real-life missions. XCTC is a command and control as well as a field-training instrument designed to certify proficiencies in specific tasks.
Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing Practices Precision Cargo Drops
Posted: 2015-05-25 09:30 AM
In a nation struggling with war fatigue, it's important to pause on Memorial Day and recognize the Minnesotans still answering their country's call: men and women who leave their jobs and families to put on a military uniform.
Few military units have seen more activations and deployments since 9/11 than Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing -- its 1,200 members are essential to moving supplies and soldiers to wherever they're needed.
On part of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where few civilian passengers step, families feel the anxiety of separation as they say goodbye again to air crew flying far, far away.
Minnesota National Guard and central Minnesota communities honor Memorial Day together
Posted: 2015-05-22 11:44 AM
CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.
"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."
Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota: