| Crazy Horse Closes the Loop on Deployment Tasks
Sauk Centre-based Company C, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor (Co C, 1-194 CAB), call sign "Crazy Horse," began their Annual Training period at Camp Ripley on May 8, 2011 This 64-man tank company has grown and changed very much in the last year The unit has doubled in size for the upcoming deployment to include a mix of men and women The company now consists of armor crewman, medics, mortarmen, mechanics and many other military occupational specialties
Based in Kuwait, Crazy Horse will play an important role in the final drawdown of US forces in Iraq Crazy Horse has known for some time they would be heading back to Iraq " their last overseas deployment was during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 Cpt John Hobot, the commander of Crazy Horse was a platoon leader in the unit during their historic 22-month deployment from 2005-2007 Cpt Hobot has experience in preparing Soldiers to succeed in combat
"Our Soldiers have been gearing up for this deployment for more than a year," said Hobot "We have received some of the best training the Army has to offer to prepare us for the mission we are about to undertake"
Before departure, familiarization and qualifications on weapons and equipment is being completed to maintain Soldier readiness The citizen-Soldiers showed up to Camp Ripley and immediately drew weapons to prepare for their gunnery skills testing which took place throughout the week
Each Soldier must harness the knowledge to successfully clear, disassemble, assemble, functions check and load their weapon " an important component to master, especially in a combat situation
The M4, M249, M240B and the 50 caliber machine guns were hauled out to ranges for qualification Targets as close as 100 meters and up to 1,500 meters popped up for the Soldiers to engage and destroy
The company did a superb job of having their men and women exceed the standard by qualifying 27 Soldiers on the M2 50 caliber automatic machine gun Four Soldiers qualified Expert, 13 Sharpshooter and 10 Marksman Twenty-eight Soldiers qualified on the M249 squad automatic machine gun to include 20 Expert, 4 First Class and 4 Second Class The unit did not stop there as they qualified 61 Soldiers on the M240B automatic machine gun Twenty of these Soldiers qualified Expert, 24 First Class and 17 Second Class on the M240B
"We had a few minor problems with some targets not coming up during the night fire portion of the qualification," said 1st Sgt Timothy Flahave "Crazy Horse did not waiver though; they were able to maintain composure and qualify when they knew they had a challenge ahead, I'm proud of them"
Along with crew-served weapons qualification, the company tested and passed 130 Soldiers on initial driver's training of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle
Preventative maintenance checks and services (PMCS) is an extremely important aspect of preparing for a mission Each Soldier must understand and grasp the duties of each crewmember in their vehicle and be able to carry out their position auspiciously
"The most important thing to a Soldier on the battle field is his weapon," said Flahave, "but in a combat situation where the weapon can malfunction and is incapable of assisting in the fight " the vehicle may need to evade and get to a safe and secure area This is why PMCS is a must on all vehicles, weapons and equipment"
Land navigation, fire evacuation and casualty evacuation drills, mine resistant ambush protected training, company intelligence support team, tactical sight exploitation, preliminary marksmanship instruction, and call for fire were conducted by the end of the first week
Crazy Horse will finish up their annual training on May 22 and prepare for their departure ceremony to be held on May 25 in Sauk Centre, MN Upon completion of the ceremony, Soldiers will say goodbye to their friends and family and head to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin for a couple months before they begin their year-long mission of assisting with the US drawdown in Iraq
Story and photos by Spc Zachary Mangas
C Co, 1-194 AR (CAB) Unit Public Affairs Representative
15 May, 2011
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.